Why This Scene May Cease to Exist in California After 2040

Assemblyman wants to ban sales of cars fueled by gas, diesel by that deadline
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2017 1:14 PM CDT
The 'Line in the Sand' a Calif. Lawmaker Wants on the Roads
In this June 15, 2016, file photo, Assemblyman Phil Ting discusses the 2016-2017 state budget in Sacramento, Calif.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

If Phil Ting has his way, California girls will soon be cruising down Highway One and never having to stop for gas. When the state Legislature returns at the start of 2018, the Dem assemblyman says he'll introduce a bill that would ban the sale of new cars fueled by gas or diesel after 2040, the Sacramento Bee reports. Because transportation exhaust makes up more than 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state, this move would boost California's efforts to slash CO2 emissions by 80% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050, per Bloomberg. "The market is moving this way," Ting says, per the Bee. "The entire world is moving this way. At some point you need to set a goal and put a line in the sand." The Golden State is trying to keep pace with similar efforts abroad, including a ban by France and the UK by 2040, and an even more ambitious one in India by 2030.

China has also announced like intentions, though its timetable isn't as clear. Bloomberg notes such a move could cause a domino-type effect nationwide, as automakers under the gun to prioritize electric cars for the country's most populous state may also stop prioritizing gas- and diesel-powered cars in other states. Ting's announcement comes on the heels of Mary Nichols, head of the California Air Resources Board, telling Bloomberg earlier this week that such a ban was being mulled and that Gov. Jerry Brown is definitely on board in barring vehicles driven by internal combustion engines. The New York Times takes a look at some of the questions and doubts swirling around the concept, with one critic from the free-market think tank Pacific Research Institute comparing the idea to something you'd read about on the Onion. "But then … you go, 'Yeah, this is California,'" he notes. (More California stories.)

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