California senators calling on Biden to set date for phasing out gasoline cars

Source: BY DOMINICK MASTRANGELO, The Hill • Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The two U.S. senators representing California are calling on President Biden to create a deadline for U.S. automakers to end sales of gasoline-powered cars, according to a new report.

In a letter to be sent to Biden on Monday that was obtained by Reuters, Democratic Sens. Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein urge Biden to “follow California’s lead and set a date by which all new cars and passenger trucks sold be zero-emission vehicles.”

The senators add that many U.S. automakers have the tools and process already in place to phase out gas-powered cars and would be able to meet a realistic deadline for ending gas-powered car sales with ease.

“We believe the national baseline should, at an absolute minimum, be built around the technical lead set by companies that voluntarily advanced their agreements with California,” they wrote. “California and other states need a strong federal partner.”

In September, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced he would sign an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector.

“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Newsom said in making the announcement. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our 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.”

Biden earlier this year made a promise to ensure all vehicles currently owned by the federal government that run on gasoline would be replaced with U.S.-made electric vehicles.

“The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles which we’re going to replace with clean, electric vehicles made right here in America by American workers,” the president said at the time.

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