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    California Is Banning the Sale of Gas Cars

    By Ryan Bort,


    California is expected to vote on Thursday to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.

    “The climate crisis is solvable if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to stem the tide of carbon pollution,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

    The landmark move toward electric vehicles would be phased in over several years, with a target of 35 percent of new vehicles that don’t emit fossil fuels being set for 2026, a target of 51 percent for 2028, 68 percent for 2030, and finally a target of 100 percent for 2035.

    The California Air Resource Board will vote to implement the measure on Thursday, with board member Daniel Sperling telling CNN that he is “99.9 percent” confident that it will pass. “This is monumental,” Sperling added. “This is the most important thing that CARB has done in the last 30 years. It’s important not just for California, but it’s important for the country and the world.”

    The news comes on the heels of President Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act , the largest environmental investment in American history, into law. The IRA allocates nearly $400 million toward climate action, but as Rolling Stone ‘s Jeff Goodell noted after Biden made it official , it only marks one step of what is still a very long road toward staving off a global climate catastrophe: “Let’s not wonder if this bill is ambitious enough to stave off the climate crisis. It is not. The climate crisis is not like a broken leg, where you find a good doctor and he puts you in a cast for six weeks, and you’re back to normal. There is no ‘fix’ for the climate crisis.”

    California banning the sale of gas-powered cars marks another step in what must be a multi-dimensional effort to take on the climate crisis. Activists cheered the news on Wednesday. “Start thinking now,” author Bill McKibben wrote on Twitter , “if you buy a new gas car will it have any resale value?”

    The New York Times notes that at least 12 other states could adopt the new regulation soon and that five are expected to do so in the next year. If that happens, restrictions on gas-powered cars would apply to around a third of America’s automobile market. It certainly helps that the nation’s most populous state is leading the charge. “California will now be the only government in the world that mandates zero-emission vehicles,” Margo Ore, a former chief of the Environmental Protection Agency’s transportation emissions program, told the Times . “It is unique.”

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