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Governor Newsom announced Wednesday that California will phase out the sale of gasoline powered cars by 2035.

“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” said Governor Newsom. “Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma.”

“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change.”Governor Gavin Newsom

West Hills Oil Incorporated president Scott Cain has been a petroleum distributor for over 25 years. “After COVID-19, how will California afford this transition away from petroleum?” Cain said in a email to GV Wire℠.

Newsom’s executive order requires sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and adds additional measures to eliminate emissions from the transportation sector.

In the last six months, the California Air Resources Board has approved new regulations requiring truck manufacturers to transition to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024 and the governor signed an MOU with 14 other states to advance and accelerate the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

Local Petroleum Distributor

“My basic question is this – How will the current power grid support everyone plugging in their cars? Or better yet, their semi trucks?,” Cain asks hypothetically. “We currently import approximately 20% of our electric power.  As evidenced by this years ‘brown outs,’ we can’t even meet existing needs.”

Cain says if we have to import our power, other states are still producing electricity using fossil fuels. “If we buy from them, we’re simply moving CA pollution to surrounding states,” added Cain.

Based in Coalinga, West Hills Oil Incorporated has been in business over 50 years. Cain says he can foresee a problem ahead based on what he sees right outside his window.

“We have a Cardlock in Kettleman City. Trucks come in, get diesel, and leave.  Across the street from us is a Tesla charging station.  Looks fancy, but the line was around the block at Christmas to get in,” said Cain. He also questions how infrastructure for charging stations up and down the state will be paid for.

Cain is not sure what the future holds now for his family going into the energy business. “I pray that my nephew, and his brother in law, who just started working for me can have the career in energy that I’ve had.”

California’s Carbon Pollution

According to the governor’s office, the transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80 percent of smog-forming pollution and 95 percent of toxic diesel emissions. In a press release Newsom’s office says communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley live with some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in the country.

Under Newsom’s order, the California Air Resources Board is being directed to develop regulations mandating 100 percent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035. That target would achieve more than a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80 percent improvement in oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars statewide, the governor’s office said.

The Board will also being directed to develop regulations to mandate that operations of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are 100 percent zero emission by 2045.

The executive order will not prevent Californians from owning gasoline-powered cars or selling them on the used car market, the governor’s office said.

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