In an effort to “ensure the stability’ of its oil and gas industry, Wyoming Republican lawmakers have proposed new legislation to ban the sale of new electric vehicles by 2035.
As fifteen other states, such as New York and California, plan to terminate production of all gas-powered vehicles, Wyoming has chosen to go in the opposite direction to defend the jobs of its residents. Wyoming lawmakers argue that the oil and gas industry provides too many valuable jobs and generates too much revenue for the state to eliminate. They have also pointed out that the state does not yet have the proper infrastructure in place to support the widespread use of electric vehicles.
The legislation notes that the state does not have a sufficient amount of charging stations for electric vehicles. It also raises the concern that these minerals will ultimately end up polluting the state’s landfills.
In the bill, the GOP lawmakers wrote, “The critical minerals used in electric batteries are not easily recyclable or disposable, meaning that landfills in Wyoming and elsewhere will be required to develop practices to dispose of these minerals in a safe and responsible manner.”
A 2021 study by the International Energy Agency found that electric vehicles require six times more minerals than gas-powered cars. These critical minerals include copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and zinc.
The resolution also says that the creation of new power charging stations would require a major amount of new power to “sustain the misadventure of electric vehicles.”
“Wyoming’s vast stretches of highway, coupled with a lack of electric vehicle infrastructure, make the widespread use of electric vehicles impracticable for the state,” the bill states.
Wyoming relies heavily on oil and gas production, being named the eighth top oil producer in the U.S. in 2021. The state’s oil and gas industry provides over 68,000 jobs and about 100 companies operate the state’s 30,000 miles of pipelines.
The bill also states that electric vehicles will negatively impact Wyoming’s ability to trade with other states.
“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,” the bill says.
This anti-EV legislation would be set to ban electric vehicles the very same year that California plans to ban the sale of all new gas-powered vehicles, and the same year that Joe Biden has set as the goal for at least 50% of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric.