Not The Onion: CA Gov Newsom Believes He Can Legislate Away Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035

Screenshot via California Gavin Newsom
AP featured image
Governor Newsom announces major climate initiative, September 23, 2020. (Screenshot via California Gavin Newsom)


Undeterred by the demonstrable failure of the “reimagining” of California’s power grid he and his predecessor spearheaded and the money pit that is the bullet train, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Wednesday that he is signing a new Executive Order that will “eliminate in California the sale of internal combustion engines” by 2035 and “[builds] towards an integrated, statewide rail and transit network.”


Newsom began the press conference announcing the move by saying that “goals are nothing more than dreams with deadlines,” then reminding his subjects that the state (meaning, Newsom) set a goal to be “carbon neutral” by 2045 and that the state isn’t on track to meet that goal/dream with a deadline.

Of course, it’s all the fault of the transportation sector, Newsom said (emphasis added):

The transportation sector in the state of California represents over 50 percent of all of the emissions, 41 percent directly related to vehicles, 11 percent related to the production of petroleum fuels. As a consequence, when we are looking to achieve our audacious goals to get to 100 percent carbon-free economy by 2045, we can’t get there unless we accelerate our efforts in the transportation sector.

We’ll do that by setting forth a goal, a firm goal that by 2035, in the next 15 years, we will eliminate in California the sales of internal combustion engines. We will move forward to green and decarbonize our vehicle fleet here in the State of California.

Just like that, ‘eh, Governor? The text of Newsom’s order has precisely zero concrete plans for how this will occur. Newsom believes that his effort will lead to further job growth in the green energy sector and that this will help working-class Californians looking for jobs. As evidence, Newsom states that the growth of “green-collar” jobs in the State of California outpaces the growth of jobs in the fossil fuel industry, 5:1. That might be true, but that would be due to the massive regulation and bans in place for drilling and fracking in the state. And, there is no evidence showing that out-of-work Californians have the skills and training to walk into a green-collar job.


In addition, what working-class Californians need right now is the ability to go to work, period. The biggest green-collar employer in the state is Tesla, and Newsom’s administration and other elected officials have harassed its founder, Elon Musk, because he wants his employees to be able to work and accused him of putting profits above employee health. If the state’s economy is effectively closed for the foreseeable future, how can this timeline possibly be met?

Rainbows and unicorns, and “dreams with deadlines.”

As far as existing vehicles with internal combustion engines and those that will be purchased in the next 15 years, don’t worry – Magnanimous Gavin will allow you to keep those:

“Moving forward [we’re] not denying people the ability to keep their cars after 15 years – you can still keep your internal combustion engine car. You can still have a market for used cars. You can still trade and transfer those cars. We’re not taking anything away. We’re providing an abundance of new choices and new technology, being agnostic about how we get to zero emissions….”

California gun owners reading the above paragraph know just how tenuous that promise is.

As usual, Newsom used the Left’s “shaming” tactic against companies he deemed as “pushing back against California’s leadership,” saying those companies will have to recover economically when green energy leaves them behind:


There are some automobile manufacturers that don’t [get it], and they’re pushing back against California’s leadership, have been in the past, and they’re on the wrong side of history, and they’ll have to recover economically, not just reocver in terms of being able to look their kids and grandkids in the eye and say that they did the right thing, because at the moment they haven’t.

“If you care about your kids and your grandkids, if you care about disadvantaged communities, if you care about seniors, if you care about rural communities, if you care about rural communities, if you care about inner city communities that have been underserved by our fossil fuel econmy, then you care about the core construct that we’re advancing here in this Executive Order.”

He then added a terrifying thought for the rest of the country:

“We believe the future happens here first. We are in every way, shape, or form, we believe, America’s coming attraction, not just in terms of the impacts of climate change but our resolve to address the impacts of climate change and lead in addressing these issues….”

Oh boy.

Newsom gave a shout-out to Tesla regarding their recent announcement of new battery technology that would dramatically decrease the cost of its vehicles, then made more unsubstantiated claims:

There will be price parity within the next few years of electric vehicles with traditional internal combustion vehicles.” But the difference is, you don’t have to pay any money at the pump. The difference is, with a zero-emission vehicle you have lower maintenance costs…

If you want to protect disadvantaged communities, impoverished communities, then pull away from the gas pumps.


Oh, really? How do we know zero-emission vehicles have lower maintenance costs? They haven’t been around long enough or in wide enough use to have reliable data. There’s no promise that within a few years there will be price parity between internal combustion and zero-emissions vehicles. That’s been predicted for years, but has yet to come to fruition.

Newsom continued:

Let us no longer be victims of geopolitical dictators that manipulate global supply chains and global markets as it relates to the petropolitics that have become so much part of our lives. Let’s disabuse ourselves that that has to be our fate, that has to be our future.

Do you know how California can no longer be a victim of geopolitical dictators? Newsom can allow more oil production within the state. (Californians for Energy Independence has some great fact sheets on the subject.)

One big wrinkle in Newsom’s plan: If there aren’t any internal combustion engines in the state, how will California replace the billions of dollars in gas tax revenues it currently collects?

Another big wrinkle: How are Californians supposed to charge their zero-emission vehicles when the state can’t reliably provide electrical power?

I predict that this plan will never come to fruition. It’s an executive order likely not supported even by a majority of the insane California legislators, it’s unworkable, and at some point over the next 15 years it will likely be repealed.


(This story was updated at 9:30 a.m., September 24, 2020.)


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