This week, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation setting a goal for all new passenger cars and trucks sold in New York State to be zero emissions by 2035, making New York the first state to enact such a target through the legislative and executive branches. New York’s law follows the California governor’s executive order for a 2035 gas car phaseout.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee should put Washington in the lead by issuing an executive order for a 2030 deadline for all new cars to be electric. Last April, the Governor vetoed legislation passed by the Washington State legislature setting a goal for all new vehicles to be electric starting with model year 2030. The legislature’s action made world headlines and helped advance the timeline for phasing out gas cars. Now he can honor the legislature’s will with an executive order.
Gas-powered cars are the biggest source of pollution driving the climate crisis. While President Biden’s executive order aimed at making half of all new vehicles zero emissions by 2030 is a step in the right direction, it will not slash greenhouse gas emissions at the rate required to reach the administration’s climate goals and those outlined in the Paris Accord.
Ten countries have announced plans to phase out gasoline vehicles by 2030 or sooner. It’s time for progressive states like Washington to lead the effort in the U.S.