Rules from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) require 35% of new vehicles to produce zero emissions by 2026 before rising to a 68% benchmark by 2030 and a 100% level by 2035. Both Washington and Massachusetts had enacted legislation conforming the states to recommendations from CARB as of 2019, according to the agency.
“This is a critical milestone in our climate fight,” Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) said on social media, setting the goal of “all new car sales to be zero emissions by 2030.”
California accounts for 11.7% of new light-duty vehicle sales in the United States, according to CARB, while Massachusetts and Washington account for 2.1% and 1.8% of sales, respectively. The road to electric vehicle adoption, however, may be steep — California has 563,070 registered electric vehicles while Washington and Massachusetts have 66,810 and 30,470, respectively, according to the Department of Energy.
Officials in the Biden administration have come under fire for suggesting that renewable energy subsidies passed under the Inflation Reduction Act will help the middle class contend with higher price levels, particularly with respect to fuel.
“If you are low income, you can get your home entirely weatherized through the expansion from the bipartisan infrastructure laws,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said earlier this month on Fox News. “If you are moderate income, today you can get 30% off the price of solar panels. Those solar panels can be financed, so you don’t have to have the big outlay at the front … If you don’t qualify for the weatherization program, you will be able to, starting next year, get rebates on the appliances and equipment that will help you reduce your monthly energy bill by up to 30%. That is all about reducing costs for people.”
Beyond state governments, corporations around the world are seeking to accelerate a shift toward electric vehicles. Bank Australia, for example, will no longer offer loans for new gas-powered cars and plans to implement the policy beginning in the next three years as part of its commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2035.
“By ceasing car loans for new fossil fuel vehicles, we are sending a signal to the Australian market about the rapid acceleration in the transition from internal combustion to electric vehicles we expect to see in the next few years,” Bank Australia Chief Impact Officer Sasha Courville said at a recent summit, according to a press release. “We’ve chosen 2025 because the change to electric vehicles needs to happen quickly, and we believe it can with the right supporting policies in place to bring a greater range of more affordable electric vehicles to Australia.”
Texas, however, recently cut ties with BlackRock, UBS, and eight other financial institutions hostile to fossil fuel investment. Comptroller Glenn Hegar identified firms that are “refusing to deal with” or “terminating business activities” with companies involved in the production and use of fossil fuels “without an ordinary business purpose” based upon an evaluation of their commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives — which, in some cases, included vows to third-party climate advocacy groups like Net Zero Banking Alliance.
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