Government Watch / Politics

California’s War on Gas Vehicles Threatens Entire U.S. Economy

AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris


On Thursday, California regulators voted to require that all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state run on electricity or hydrogen after 2035, the latest move by state officials to “phase out” the use of all gas and diesel-powered vehicles. In addition to posing a severe challenge for California’s already strained power grid, the decision threatens to send the state’s economy tumbling – likely taking the rest of the country with it.

The new rule, which was released by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) two years after Governor Gavin Newsom first directed the Board to consider such a policy, was hailed as a major victory for environmental activists, even as economists and engineers expressed major reservations. According to the policy, 35% of new passenger vehicles sold by 2026 must produce “zero emissions,” a requirement that climbs to 68% by 2030. By 2035, one-fifth of new car sales in the state can be plug-in hybrids (electric vehicles that switch over to a gas-powered engine for longer distances), but the rest must be powered solely by electricity or hydrogen.

Though California leads the country in number of registered EVs by far – more than 550,000 – that figure still pales in comparison to the more than 30 million total registered vehicles in the state. In the first three months of this year, just 16% of new cars sold in California were electric, a percentage that would have to more than double in just four years in order to be in compliance with the plan.

Conservatives and auto industry leaders have been quick to point out, however, that EVs are hardly the “environmentally friendly,” “zero emission” solution that California Democrats – and the rest of the liberal establishment – have billed them as. Though the vehicles themselves produce zero emissions, they still must be charged using electricity from power generating stations. Even in California, 65% of that electricity is produced using nonrenewable sources. More electric cars means more burning of coal, oil, and natural gas at those power plants. Additionally, EV batteries, which last about 15 years, mostly end up in landfills, where they release dangerous toxins into the environment (and that’s not even to mention the serious environmental and human rights concerns associated with lithium and cobalt mining for EV battery manufacturing).

There are also major doubts about whether or not California’s energy grid will even be able to handle the increase in demand brought on by such a large increase in the number of EVs on the road in such a short time. According to one analysis from the University of Texas, if every vehicle in California were to go electric, the state would need to produce 47% more electricity than it does today. That’s likely unwelcome news for Californians who are already facing rolling blackouts thanks to the state’s overreliance on renewable energy.

Banning gas cars in California is also likely to have ripple effects throughout the rest of the U.S. economy. A number of other Democrat-led states like New York and Oregon have, for instance, indicated that they will follow California’s lead, leaving automakers in a difficult position. Even Virginia has passed legislation that forces it to adhere to California regulations. California alone represents a full 10% of the overall U.S. car market, meaning that its laws can – and have – shaped the direction of the market for the entire country. The problems that this decision poses for California are thus likely to be exported to other states, whether they agree with the policy or not.

With fewer gas cars on the road, many gas stations will likely go out of business, making it more difficult for those with gas cars to get around. In addition to posing a severe burden on people in rural parts of the state, this will also discourage tourism from other states, an industry that contributes more than $100 billion annually to California’s economy. 

At the same time as this policy is going into effect on passenger vehicles, a series of perhaps even more devastating laws and regulations are also set to take effect to “phase out” medium- and heavy-duty gas- and diesel-powered trucks. On January 1, 2023, some 76,000 trucks with engines built before 2010 will no longer be allowed to operate under a different set of CARB regulations. By 2040, all new medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold in the state must also be fully electric – posing an enormous cost for transportation companies, which will no doubt be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.

The new truck regulations are particularly bad news for California’s vital agricultural sector. California is far and away the country’s most productive agricultural state, accounting for more than 13% of U.S. agricultural production value – some $25 billion annually. The state leads the nation in the production of 77 different crops and livestock, and accounts for more than 99% of U.S. production of 14 specialty crops such as almonds, olives, and raisins.

All of these products have to be transported to the rest of the country. According to USDA data, 95% of the time that means a diesel-powered semi-truck. Even if farms and ranches can afford expensive new electric trucks, and even if California installs thousands of new electric vehicle charging stations specifically for electric trucks, it is powerless to force other states to do so, meaning that produce might have to be shipped via electric truck in California and switched to diesel-powered trucks for the rest of the journey – increasing costs and slowing down shipments. The result is that the nearly one million Californians who work in the agricultural sector are likely to have their lives and livelihoods upended, while the rest of the country can expect to pay significantly more for produce.

Notably, these new rules must all be approved by the Biden administration under the provisions of the 1970 Clean Air Act. While officials at the Environmental Protection Agency are expected to do so without delay, they may want to reconsider, lest they risk throttling the country further toward economic ruin.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @Shane_Harris_

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7 months ago

God is still in control! Leftist won’t be in control for long. Just make sure you vote so that together we can make a difference that really matters. Let California die all by itself if they don’t get in-line with truth. The leftist won’t be in power one way or another after mid terms or there will be far worse consequences to pay than energy. Just remember that God is still in control. He will never forsake us.

8 months ago

The arrogance that mankind is going to “save the world!” “While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” GOD’S promise to Noah in Gen. 8:22.

Marie Langley
9 months ago

Gavin Newsom is mandating this for 2035 and on the other side of his mouth he is requesting that we cut down on electricity use and don’t charge your cars to avoid power outages. What an idiot. And he wants to be president????????? What a joke!!!!!!!!!!!

5 months ago
Reply to  Marie Langley

No joke baby….. This is the most serious thing to happen since Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941These stupid democrats have no idea what they are forcing on our once country.

Sean Richman
9 months ago

Liberals seem to engage mouth while small brain is asleep.The remedy,think,think,think about what your actions will do to people and their livelihood,not your privileged life.

Bill T
9 months ago

If this is the direction where heading to its GAME OVER

9 months ago

These people are brain dead. It really does not matter if we shut down all of our economy, shut down all of America’s farms and kill all the farmers livestock off, and ban all gasoline powered cars.
The only thing that will accomplish is that we will all starve to death and have no jobs or income.
Bidum spends Billions or Trillions of U.S. dollars on Climate Accord, meanwhile China and India the biggest polluters and the rest of the world have always contributed just a tiny amount of their GDP.
China has 1,000 coal fired electric generating plants in operation, is building 43 new plants and has 240 more planned or in construction, plus 18 new blast furnaces. Meanwhile India has 281 coal fired electric generating plants in operation, 23 in construction and 23 more in pre construction phase. And that’s just China and India. Does anyone really think destroying America’s economy, starving and or freezing us to death will make even a ripple in climate change of the Earth? You’re having a bad dream if you do!

America’s air quality has already improved by 52%, how much has China and others improved their air quality? Zero, zip. It only gets worse so we should not subsidize them.
Meanwhile as Obuma, Bidum and other top 1% Americans try to panic American’s, they aren’t worried about rising sea levels, they just keep building their multi million dollar homes on the oceanfront.
Just shut up and do as we say, not as we do! Vote them out while your still able to.

Sean Richman
9 months ago
Reply to  patriot

This is one of the best arguments that I have heard.The democRATS do NOT care about AMERICA,where there hate for our country comes from,I really don’t know,I can’t relate to it because I still love our country.

9 months ago

Governor Inslee of Washington stated yesterday that he will push for state of Washington to pass the same thing as California. And these Green Deal advocates do not have a plan on how this can be done in such a tight timeline.

David Warren
9 months ago

Cut off coal and gas to California. Let them see what is going to happen. Keep their stupidity in California

Bill T
9 months ago

This so called INFLATION REDUCTION ACT is nothing more than the springboard for the leftist socialist liberals and environmental climate change scammers to enact the GREEN NEW DEAL! It’s not an economically sound solution and will immediately bankrupt our country and destroy capitalism in its tracks!!! That is what this is all about, it will collapse everything and then the elitist can employ the totalitarian and totally totalitarian dictatorship that they are painting all conservatives with. Our illegitimate president is treasonous to we the people and we all fully understand how compromised he and his dirty family are.

Michael Lewis
9 months ago

Why are Americans, blessed with choice at the ballot box, electing fools to office? A child can look at the numbers above and understand this plan cannot work!

9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Lewis

Because the education system has done such a great job.

9 months ago

I am glad they are the ones experimenting with this. They can show the rest of the country how it just does not work. They should have made the designation as “non-polluting” rather than “zero emmissions”. They did not because there is no such thing as non-polluting or having no impact on the environment. I cannot wait! But by the time this all happens. I will not care any more. I will be either gone or near my end, I hope.

9 months ago

The silliness continues with nary a thought of the unintended consequences and the big picture.

9 months ago
Reply to  John

It is just like the nuclear energy fiasco. They are not building any new nuclear plants that I know of now. They knew the consequences when they first started building them. But the companies did not care. They thought some”bright new engineers” would come along and solve the problem. That did not happen.

9 months ago

If California slid off into the Pacifjc our country would actually be better off.

9 months ago
Reply to  Craig

Not sure, this was about 10-years ago that I read an article that said if California was a country it would be in the top economies in the world. Has this changed the last few years, I do not know

james carlyle
9 months ago

There are no highway trucks run by electricity that can replace the powerful, efficient diesel vehicles-they would look like diesel electric locomotives to achieve those horsepowers and torque. This is an incredible pipe dream in combination with Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. The State of California belongs to the Greek Land of the Lotus Eaters.

9 months ago

Wake Up America. The agenda IS DE POPULATION & DE GROWTH..period!!!They will force those that are not wealthy to NOT DRIVE and take mass transit OR walk! The National median annual wage in 2021 was $45,760.00 !!
The cost of an EV along with insurance and upkeep is UNAFFORDABLE…PERIOD!!

9 months ago

That’s exactly what they are looking to do. Send this country into economic ruin has been their most worked on intention since Covid. It was the beginning

9 months ago

Build the wall…and make it include California!

ronald stewart
9 months ago

this is why Californian is widely ridiculed in the rest of the country . this is insane pie in the sky kind of crap . what happens if you live in the central valley hard enough to find gas stations let alone superchargers . and i for one will not buy an electric vehicle until when and if they will standardixe the plugs you need to plug in to the chargers and your vehicle

9 months ago
Reply to  ronald stewart

Dar Ronald: This 82+ year old woman has stated before that she will die before she purchases any sort of an electric car. We just got rid of our truck(our last standard shift) to purchase a new VW so we could easily get my walker in and out because of my Parkinson’s. Anything that any government official says we have to do during this regime of communism is so sick! I have worked in countries where you would NOT go into. These were countries where women were not allowed to drive! AIso, I saw far worse than that they could not drive! FYI I attended UCLA and UCMC San Francisco for my career choice. I would not send anyone there now and no one paid for my time there. I worked and my parents assisted me whenever they could. Anyway thank you for letting me expound. Carol

9 months ago

“Governor Nuisance providing cover for aunt Nancy’s evil clown show” there fixed it for ya!

David L
9 months ago

I am not able to afford an electric vehicle. Tesla Model 3 cost is over $50,000. Replacement of the batteries for this car is around $25,000. This is the only electric car I would consider since it has at least a 230 mile range. The green savings from electric cars is not that great when compared to an internal combustion powered car. The disposal of all the batteries will be costly. Toyota has the right idea in the Prius with an internal combustion engine in series with an electric motor and batteries. Replacement of batteries is about $2,000 on the Prius. California does not have the capacity to generate the electric power needed for all these electric cars. Our politicians are dooming the United States by having our current economy transition to the third world economy.

9 months ago
Reply to  David L

They DON’T want us to have mobility..that’s part of the plan on controlling us. Only the wealthy will afford the EV and therest of us will be stuck on mass transit or walking,bikes etc..This is their way of getting us under strict control.
They call it environmental but it’s all about CONTROL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9 months ago
Reply to  David L

And our enemies are just foaming at the mouth, waiting for that to happen! After more than 1 1/2 years of biden and his also worthless administration, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why so many people are still supporting the destruction of this country (and I’m not just talking about the people here illegally and/or with their hands out!!)

Smitty 550
9 months ago
Reply to  David L

We like our 2014 Prius V. We enjoy its room inside and it averages about 50 mpg on regular gas. The added power from the electric motor on steep uphills is amazing, and we never have to plug it into any electric charging station. The only maintenance performed in eight years: new tires, a new battery to start the engine (Cost: around $45), and oil/filter changes. I don’t understand why there is such a push for “zero emissions” in Taxifornia, especially when any benefits will be so microscopic when compared to any supposed pollution caused by the rest of the world. Then again, I’m not supposed to understand because the government knows more. ):(

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