The Ban on Gasoline Cars is Just Talk

The+Ban+on+Gasoline+Cars+is+Just+Talk

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Colleen Aitken, Staff Writer

On September 23, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that bans the sale of all gas cars by the year 2035, which has caused a large debate over the legality and effectiveness of the action. However, this debate is meaningless as this order is entirely symbolic and likely will never go into effect.

The ban only affects the sale of new gas cars, it does not affect gas cars bought before 2035 and it doesn’t ban the sale of used gas cars. The ban also doesn’t prohibit buying a gas car in an adjacent state and driving over to California as that would impede on free interstate commerce. 

This is not the first time that Newsom has signed a meaningless, entirely symbolic order to gain public favor and publicity. When Newsom was mayor of San Francisco in 2004, Newsom issued 4,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples, over four years before the state legalized the practice. These licenses were null and void as marriage licenses are state licenses, so although it was “legal” in San Francisco, they had no actual merit. The California Supreme Court halted the practice after only a month. The stunt worked as he received plenty of publicity, positive and negative, as well as making Newsom a prominent progressive leader in California. 

When running for election of governor, he stated that he would fix the chronic housing shortage by building 3.5 million new homes, and after his election called it an “aspirational” goal because it was impossible to achieve. 

Newsom was elected governor in 2018 and is eligible for reelection in 2022. Assuming he wins that election, he will be governor up until 2026, nine years before his gas car ban goes into effect. 

California is also nowhere near ready to give up gas powered vehicles. While Californians do own half of the electric powered vehicles in America, they only make up around 2% of the nearly 30 million cars on California roads”

That means that at least two more governors will take office and have the ability to withdraw the ban before it ever becomes a reality.

California is also nowhere near ready to give up gas powered vehicles. While Californians do own half of the electric powered vehicles in America, they only make up around 2% of the nearly 30 million cars on California roads. Furthermore, electric vehicles are currently too expensive with not enough range in vehicles to fully replace the new car market in California.

In addition to the executive order, Newsom requested that the Legislature pass a bill phasing out the use of fracking, which produces oil and natural gas. California is one of the leading producers of oil in gas in the United States, and the fuels that are produced by fracking go into making the energy needed to charge electric vehicles. 

While it is necessary that California moves into the direction of sustainable energy, especially as wildfires continue to get worse due to climate change, this rushed and superficial bill is not going to aid in the green energy movement. Symbolic bills such as the one that Newsom proposed only pushes the clean energy movement back, as such sudden changes scare many people into wanting things to stay the same, rather than move forward. California needs a comprehensive, gradual plan to replace fossil fuels, not a phony bill written for publicity.