Washington State is preparing to ban most new gas-powered vehicles within the next eight years.
SB 5974 — a piece of legislation recently signed by Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) — sets a goal that “all state and privately owned passenger and light-duty vehicles of model year 2030 or later that are sold , purchased or registered in the State of Washington be electric vehicles. An “interagency coordination council for electric vehicles” created by the new law is responsible for “carrying out a framework plan to achieve the 2030 target”.
“Transportation is our state’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. There’s no way to talk about climate change without talking about transportation,” Inslee noted when signing the invoice. “This package will take us away from the transportation system our grandparents dreamed up and bring us closer to the transportation system our grandchildren dream of.”
The legislation – dubbed “Clean Cars 2030” – was signed into law as part of a $17 billion climate program called “go ahead washington.” Other facets of the package include $5.4 billion for “reducing carbon emissions and expanding multimodal,” $2.4 billion for “removing fish passage barriers,” $836 million dollars for “four new hybrid-electric ferries” and $150 million for “the ultra-high-speed train.” .”
“We invest in projects from rural to urban areas of our state, allowing children to travel free on our buses, ferries and trains, and much more – and all without imposing the cost on working families” , State Senator Marko Liias (D) explained. “I look forward to residents across the state having more efficient and safer commutes, however they travel.”
Electric vehicle legislation has been enacted as gasoline prices have recently reached historic highs. According to AAAthe national average price for regular gasoline reached $4.225 per gallon, while the price for diesel reached $5.117 as of this report.
Indeed, other governors are passing new legislation in response to soaring costs. Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA), for example, wants send $400 to California residents for each registered vehicle, capped at two vehicles. The governor linked rising gasoline prices to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, despite price increases since President Joe Biden took office in 2021.
“We are taking immediate action to put money directly into the pockets of Californians who are facing higher gas prices as a direct result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” Newsom said in a statement. “But this package also aims to protect people from volatile gas prices and advance clean transportation – offering three months of free public transport, accelerated incentives for electric vehicles and charging stations, and a new funding for local cycling and walking projects.”
Newsom also rejected Republicans’ offer to suspend California’s hefty gas tax because the move would help “oil dictators and oil companies.” Like a letter from conservative lawmakers Explain“While market forces are responsible for today’s extreme prices, California’s high taxes are an added burden, and California workers simply cannot afford gasoline prices approaching $6 the gallon.”
As of March 31, the average gas price in California was $5.896 per gallon, according to AAA.
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