Story at a glance

  • New cars and passenger trucks sold in the state of nearly 40 million people must be zero-emission by 2035.
  • The move would not make it illegal for people to own gas-powered cars or to sell them on the used car market.
  • “This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Newsom said during a news conference.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is taking bold steps in an attempt to tackle climate change as his state has dealt with an unprecedented wildfire season driven by hot temperatures and dry conditions. 

Newsom on Wednesday announced California will be phasing out all gasoline-powered cars and signed an executive order mandating all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state of nearly 40 million people be zero-emission by 2035.


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“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Newsom said during a news conference.

“For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. You deserve to have a car that doesn’t give your kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse — and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines,” he said. 

The move would not make it illegal for people to own gas-powered cars or to sell them on the used car market.

Newsom’s order directs the California Air Resources Board to develop and approve regulations for the 2035 phase out. The board will also develop regulations to require new medium and heavy-duty vehicles to be zero emission by 2045. 

The executive order also includes other priorities such as new health regulations regarding oil extraction, directing agencies to speed up development of charging stations across the state and pushing the legislature to eliminate new fracking permits by 2024. 

California has set a goal of relying on 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Newsom said transportation makes up more than half of California’s carbon emissions and the order would result in an estimated 35 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions. 

The climate initiative from Newsom comes as more than 3.6 million acres have burned in California so far this year. That’s nearly double the previous record. 


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Published on Sep 23, 2020