SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled on Wednesday a plan to "aggressively" move the state away from fossil fuels by phasing out gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
Newsom issued an executive order that would require all new passenger vehicles to produce zero emissions in the next 15 years.
“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” said Governor Newsom. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse – and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”
The Governor's office said that having all new vehicles be zero-emission by 2035 would produce a 35 percent or more reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown lauded Newsom's announcement as "impressive," issuing a statement about Oregon's own emissions goals.
"I'm proud to say that, in Oregon, we have already set ambitious goals for increasing the number of zero-emission vehicles on our roads," Brown said. "And, as the chair of the Western Governor’s Association, I have launched the Electric Vehicles Roadmap Initiative with my fellow governors to lay out the path to the adoption of zero-emission technology, from consumer incentives and tax exemptions to building the electric vehicle infrastructure we will need across the West.
“These are ambitious goals that we can only meet if we all work together. I have faith in the ingenuity of the auto manufacturing industry to rise to this challenge, so that the next generation of electric cars, vans, trucks, and SUVs will have the range and capability to handle even the toughest conditions our rural Oregon roads can throw at them, and that they are accessible to all communities and income levels. With the impacts of climate change all around us — including a more intense and destructive wildfire season than any in recent memory –– we must meet this challenge."
California makes up an enormous market for vehicle sales in the U.S., and its regulations have spurred more ambitious targets in the auto industry in the past — and led to increasing conflict with the Trump administration.