Wyoming Looks to Discourage EV Sales


A photo of an electric car charging station | Image by Kindel Media/Pexels

A group of six Wyoming legislators has filed a joint resolution to encourage the state to end the sale of electric vehicles in the coming years.  

The joint resolution, sponsored by four senators and two representatives, would express “support for phasing out the sale of new electric vehicles in Wyoming by 2035.” 

If the measure were to pass, however, it would not have any legal effect on the sale of EVs as it would only mean “that the legislature encourages and expresses” the end of EV sales.

The resolution suggests, “The proliferation of electric vehicles at the expense of gas-powered vehicles will have deleterious impacts on Wyoming’s communities and will be detrimental to Wyoming’s economy and the ability for the country to efficiently engage in commerce.”

Citing the state’s “vast stretches of highway” and “lack of electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” lawmakers argue that “the widespread use of electric vehicles [is] impracticable for the state.”

The lawmakers further claim, “the critical minerals used in electric batteries are not easily recyclable or disposable, meaning that municipal landfills in Wyoming and elsewhere will be required to develop practices to dispose of these minerals in a safe and responsible manner.”

The resolution maintains that the addition of new power changing stations would require “massive” amounts of new power to “sustain the misadventure of electric vehicles.” 

In 2019, Wyoming’s oil and gas industry employed 19,416 employees with over $1.1 billion in wages paid, according to the Petroleum Association of Wyoming. 

Wyoming’s joint resolution directly runs counter to California’s measure to ban Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) sales in the state by the same timeframe.

A total of 15 states have supported the Golden State’s move to adopt new zero-emission vehicle requirements which would eventually see all new vehicles, apart from trucks, being electric or powered by hydrogen by 2035., according to the Hill. Others are seemingly prepared to follow suit, including Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon.

However, some states like Colorado and Pennsylvania have specifically indicated that they likely will not follow California’s lead, according to USA Today. Others still, like Minnesota, are on the proverbial fence with respect to the issue.

The subject is in many ways politically charged, most poignantly demonstrated by Wyoming’s secretary of state sending a copy of the resolution to California governor Gavin Newsom, who has been a proponent of the ICE vehicle ban in his state. 

One of the co-sponsors, GOP Senator Brian Boner, suggested that ultimately the resolution is more of a symbolic move. 

“One might even say tongue-in-cheek, but obviously it’s a very serious issue that deserves public discussion,” the senator said.

“I’m interested in making sure that the solution that some folks want to the so-called climate crisis are actually practical in real life,” he continued. “I just don’t appreciate when other states try to force technology that isn’t ready.”

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