January 25 -- While jurisdictions like California and New York move toward banning the sale of new gasoline-powered cars, one US state wants to go in the opposite direction. Wyoming’s legislature is considering a resolution that calls for a phaseout of new electric vehicle sales by 2035. Introduced on Friday, Senate Joint Resolution 4 has support from members of the state’s House of Representatives and Senate.
In the proposed resolution, a group of lawmakers led by Senator Jim Anderson says Wyoming’s “proud and valued” oil and gas industry has created “countless” jobs and contributed revenue to the state’s coffers. They add that a lack of charging infrastructure within Wyoming would make the widespread use of EVs “impracticable” and that the state would need to build “massive amounts of new power generation” to “sustain the misadventure of electric vehicles.”
SJ4 calls for residents and businesses to limit the sale and purchase of EVs voluntarily, with the goal of phasing them out entirely by 2035. If passed, the resolution would be entirely symbolic. In fact, it’s more about sending a message to EV advocates than banning the vehicles altogether. To that point, the final section of SJ4 calls for Wyoming’s Secretary of State to send President Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom copies of the resolution.
“One might even say tongue-in-cheek, but obviously it’s a very serious issue that deserves some public discussion,” Senator Boner, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, told the Cowboy State Daily. “I’m interested in making sure that the solutions that some folks want to the so-called climate crisis are actually practical in real life. I just don’t appreciate when other states try to force technology that isn’t ready,”
While the resolution has the markings of a political stunt, it does allude to genuine economic anxiety. Wyoming produced 85.43 million barrels of oil in 2021, making it the country’s eighth-largest crude oil producer that year. The state’s Carbon County is also home to one of the largest wind farms in the US. Something that’s not talked about enough when it comes to climate change is how the world transitions to a zero-emissions economy in an equitable way. People in many rural US states are rightfully mistrustful of so-called green technologies because they haven’t benefited from more recent technological shifts as much as their urban counterparts. Take the advent of the internet, for instance. In 2018, Microsoft found that many rural communities don’t have access to broadband internet. That’s something that has contributed to diminishing economic opportunities in those places.