Wyoming Legislators Draft Resolution to Ban Electric Vehicles by 2035
Legislators in the state of Wyoming have begun the process of introducing legislation that aims to phase out electric vehicles by 2035. State Sen. Jim Anderson explained, “if you don’t like our gasoline-powered cars, then we don’t like your electric cars.”
Cowboy State Daily reports that a resolution is currently being debated in the Wyoming Legislature designed to phase out the sale of new electric vehicles (EVs) in the state by 2035. Sen. Jim Anderson, R-Casper, is the sponsor of the resolution, titled “Phasing Out New Electric Vehicle Sales By 2035,” and it is seen as a response to laws enacted by other states that aim to phase out gas-powered vehicles.
Sen. Anderson claims that the proposal’s goal is to oppose state restrictions on the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines, such as those in California and New York. He claimed that the legislature would declare, “if you don’t like our gasoline-powered cars, then we don’t like your electric cars.”
The resolution emphasizes the value of oil and gas production to Wyoming, calling it one of the state’s “proud and valued industries” that has contributed significantly to the state’s economy over the years by creating “countless jobs” and income. It also acknowledges that gas-powered vehicles help the state’s businesses and industries move products and materials across the country.
The resolution expresses concern over the state’s lack of EV charging infrastructure, claiming that this would prevent the widespread use of EVs and render their use “impractical.” The resolution mentions several other issues in addition to the absence of infrastructure. According to a 2021 study by the International Energy Agency (IEA), a Paris-based intergovernmental organization, EVs need six times as many minerals as standard vehicles, including vital minerals like copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, zinc, and rare earths. This raises questions about the critical mineral supply in the United States’ capacity to meet the increased demand from EV manufacturers as well as the potential waste issue associated with the disposal of used EV batteries.
“The critical minerals used in electric batteries are not easily recyclable or disposable, meaning that municipal landfills in Wyoming and elsewhere will be required to develop practices to dispose of these minerals in a safe and responsible manner,” the resolution states.
In order to phase out new EVs completely by 2035, the resolution aims to encourage Wyoming’s businesses and residents to voluntarily restrict the sale and purchase of new EVs. Sen. Brian Boner, R-Douglas, who is a co-sponsor of the resolution, noted that Wyoming’s ban on electric vehicles would only be symbolic, in contrast to California’s ban on such vehicles. “One might even say tongue-in-cheek, but obviously it’s a very serious issue that deserves some public discussion,” Boner said.
Boner added: “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.”
The Wyoming Legislature is currently debating the resolution; whether it will be adopted remains to be seen. If approved, Wyoming would be the first state to attempt to phase out the sale of new electric vehicles. Although the co-sponsor of the resolution, Sen. Boner, noted that the resolution would only be symbolic, it will be interesting to see whether other states follow Wyoming’s lead.