The ban, which would be one of the first of its kind in the world, was proposed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in April to achieve Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s goal of reducing emissions by eliminating the sale of new gas cars by 2035.
“The climate crisis is solvable if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to stem the tide of carbon pollution,” Newsom said in a statement to The New York Times.
California’s plan to eliminate the sale of gas-powered vehicles by the middle of the next decade also carries with it benchmarks to hit along the way. Under the plan, California will require 35% of new vehicles sold to produce zero emissions by 2026, jumping to 68% of new cars by 2030 before finally hitting 100% of new cars in 2035. Used cars would not be affected by the plan.
The state’s move will likely affect the rest of the country since it sits as the largest automaker in the U.S. “This is monumental,” CARB member Daniel Sperling said, according to CNN. “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 board member told CNN that he remains “99.9%” confident the measure will pass in Thursday’s vote.
Experts also look to the ban to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, a desire expressed by President Joe Biden in an executive order last year that encouraged the government to push for half of all vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2030 to be electric. The California board’s vote on the ban also comes a week after Biden signed the largest climate spending package in U.S. history.
Biden touted the $370 billion dollar climate spending set forth in the Democrats’ “Inflation Reduction Act” as a way to incentivize Americans to buy electric vehicles. Biden said the act will give “consumers a tax credit to buy electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles, new or used.”
“American auto companies, along with American labor, are committing their treasure and their talent — billions of dollars in investment — to make electric vehicles and battery and electric charging stations all across America, made in America,” the president added at the bill’s signing.
California is also not the only state working toward the end of gas-powered vehicles, The Daily Wire previously reported. New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont are among at least 15 states pursuing similar goals based on California’s Low-Emission Vehicle criteria.
Dillon Burroughs contributed to this report.