Wyoming Republicans are taking a stand, they want to ban electric cars

Pilot and Index Peaks and the Beartooth Highway, an all-American National Scenic Byway on the border of Montana and Wyoming.

Greg Vaughn/VVPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Lawmakers of the least populous nation are taking a bold stand against modernity and climate action. They are sponsoring SJ0004, “Purchase of New Electric Vehicle Sales by 2035,” a simple bill that expresses the state’s goal of phasing out sales of new electric vehicles by 2035 and asks Wyoming industry and citizens to do their civic duty to resist EVs. Copies of the resolution will be sent to the White House, congressional leaders and the governor of California.

The motivation, according to the bill’s preamble, is that the oil and gas industry is important to the state, a state with a population of less than 600,000. Wyoming prides itself on its oil and gas industry, and that gas — probably meaning “gasoline” here, not the natural gas mentioned in the bill’s opening sentences — powers the vehicles that ply vast stretches of the state’s highways.

The bill’s authors believe Wyoming’s interstate grid is too barren for electric vehicles, especially since there is no infrastructure to charge electric vehicles, they argue.

The authors also decry the fact that EVs require certain critical minerals – not currently supplied by the state of Wyoming – and that these could contaminate Wyoming landfills, in apparent ignorance of the enormous recycling potential of EV batteries.

Therefore, in order to protect the incomes of people who make money pulling hydrocarbons out of the ground or moving them around the state, the sale of new electric vehicles must be banned in Wyoming by 2035, the bill states.

The date is not accidental; 2035 is the year California wants to end the sale of new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. And that same year, US President Joe Biden wants at least 50 percent of all new vehicles sold in the US to be EVs.

Sounds like a projection to me

The politics of outrage is coming loud and clear from the bill’s lead sponsor, state Sen. Jim Anderson. Anderson told Cowboy State Daily that if successful, the Wyoming Legislature will let the rest of the world know that “if you don’t like our diesel cars, well, we don’t like your electric cars.”

But even if the bill passes — not impossible, given tight Republican control of both houses of the Wyoming Legislature — it doesn’t commit the state to any action other than a general sense of embarrassment toward battery-powered cars.

Indeed, Cowboy State Daily quotes state Sen. Brian Boehner, another politician behind the bill, as saying that some might describe the bill as “foolishness, but obviously it’s a very serious issue that deserves a public debate.”

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