Wyoming lawmaker behind EV ban says he didn’t mean it


A group of Republican lawmakers in Wyoming introduced a bill last week urging the legislature to seek to phase out the sale of new electric vehicles by 2035.

Electric vehicles are impractical and their batteries hog valuable resources, lawmakers said. Fox Business reported that the bill would “protect a state economy largely fueled by gas and oil.” (Wyoming is the nation’s eighth-largest crude oil producer, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.)

But State Sen. Jim Anderson, who introduced the bill, said he doesn’t actually want electric vehicle sales to be scrapped, though the resolution pushes the legislature to seek exactly that.

“I have no problem with electric vehicles,” Anderson said in a phone interview Monday night. Anyone who wants to buy an electric vehicle should have the freedom to do so, he said, adding that friends and family members have them.

Instead, its resolution was prompted by California’s decision in August to ban sales of new gas-only vehicles by 2035.

“I have a problem with someone saying, ‘Don’t buy any more oil vehicles,'” Anderson said, adding that he introduced the bill “just to send the message that we are not happy with states that ban our vehicles.” (Anderson, who represents Natrona County in central Wyoming, which includes the town of Casper, said he and his wife “drive diesel vehicles and gasoline vehicles,” but declined to specify which type. )

As is often the case with other regulations Adopted by the economic juggernaut that is California, the ban is likely to affect the auto industry nationwide. The resolution allows the sale of gasoline-powered used cars and a limited number of new plug-in hybrids.

While California law would “force” people to buy electric cars, Anderson said, his bill was “just a resolution saying, ‘We don’t like your bill that you did.

California set to ban new gas-only cars by 2035

Despite Anderson’s empathy for people who choose to drive electric vehicles, his resolution — co-sponsored by five other lawmakers — presents a long list of reasons against them and in favor of gasoline-powered vehicles.

“Since its invention, the gasoline-powered vehicle has enabled state industries and businesses to engage in commerce and transport goods and resources more efficiently throughout the country,” the bill reads. preamble. “Wyoming’s vast swathes of freeways, coupled with a lack of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, make widespread use of electric vehicles impractical for the state.”

Halting electric vehicle sales, he continues, “will provide stability to Wyoming’s oil and gas industry and help preserve the nation’s critical minerals for vital purposes.”

While Wyoming’s mining industry is best known for extracting coal – it provides up to 40% of national coal demand, according to the Bureau of Land Management – the state also contains reserves of resources such as cobalt and graphite potential reserves, both of which are used in electric vehicle batteries.

Wyoming is set to receive nearly $24 million over five years from the federal government to improve charging infrastructure along Interstates 80, 25 and 90, the state Department of Transportation announced in June.

“Electric cars are of great benefit to Wyoming,” said Marc Geller, spokesman for the California-based Electric Vehicle Association. nonprofit that advocates the use of electric vehicles, as they are often called.

Anderson said “it would be nice” for the state to mine materials for electric vehicle batteries, but he raised concerns about where the batteries end up when they are disposed of.

Instead of banning electric cars, Geller quipped, “maybe we should ban all cars and go back to horses.”

For now, however, potential EV buyers in Wyoming can rest assured that their purchases will still be permitted.

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