OAN’s Roy Francis
2:01 PM – Wednesday, May 23, 2023
The State of California has submitted a request to the Biden administration for approval of its plan to ban the sales of new gasoline cars in the state by 2035.
According to a letter obtained by Reuters on Monday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which had approved the plan of ending sales of new gasoline cars by 2035, asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for an approval of a waiver under the Clean Air Act in order to implement its new rules.
CARB Executive Officer Steven Cliff stated that the gasoline powered vehicles are the “greatest source of emissions in California,” and stated that electric vehicles will displace those emissions by conventional vehicles.
“These vehicles will permanently displace emissions from conventional vehicles,” he wrote.
The Biden administration has previously refused to approve a set date to phase out gasoline vehicles. EPA Administrator Michael Regan previously declined to comment on how the agency would reply to such a request from the state of California, saying that they would review and consider it when it comes.
EPA Spokesperson Tim Carroll said that the agency will follow the routine “open public process.”
“As with all waiver requests from California,” he said. “We’ll follow an open public process in considering it, as the agency routinely does.”
According to Reuters, the 60-page request said that “through 2040, California’s zero emission rules will cost $210.35 billion but have total benefits of $301.41 billion.”
The new regulations in California would reportedly allow automakers to sell up to 20% plug in hybrid electric vehicles by 2035, which would need a minimum 50-miles on its all-electric range in order to qualify.
Officials in the state had claimed that by 2035, there will be 12.5 million electric vehicles on within the state. Although some are critical of the state’s power grid and its capacity to handle the 15-fold increase in electric vehicles, state officials are confident that it will not be an issue.
Quentin Gee, a California Energy Commission supervisor said that they are confident that the electricity will meet the future increase in demand.
“We have confidence now,” he said. “and we’re able to plan for it.”
However, David Victor, a professor and co-director of the Deep Decarbonization Initiative at UC San Diego said that the grid will have to increase at a drastically faster rate, and that its ability to handle the increase in electricity consumption is not a guarantee.
“We’re going to have to expand the grid at a radically much faster rate,” he said. “This is plausible if the right policies are in place, but it’s not guaranteed. It’s best-case.”
The Energy Commission however has not yet developed policies which will support the future plans of the state. Energy experts and legislators have criticized the Energy Commission for its lack of preparation. Retired UC Berkeley electrical engineering professor Sascha von Meier said that the state is moving too slow and is not on track yet.
“We are not yet on track. If we just take a laissez-faire approach with the market, then we will not get there,” she said. “Planning and permitting is very urgent.”
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