Biden’s energy secretary says she supports California gas vehicle ban

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says she supports regulations approved by the California state government in August banning the sale of new gas-powered cars after 2034.

Granholm answered a question about the new law, saying she supports it and praising California for “leaning” into climate policy, during an interview with Los Angeles reporter Elex Michaelson that aired Friday night. She noted President Biden’s informal commitment to ensure 50% of all US car sales are electric by 2030.

“Yeah, I do, I think California is really leaning,” Granholm said when asked if she supports the California law. “And, of course, the federal government has a goal – which the president has announced – by 2030 that half of the vehicles in the United States, the new ones sold, will be electric.”

On August 25, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the settlement with the goal of massively reducing the carbon emissions produced by the state’s transportation sector. The rule states that all new car sales from 2035 are electric vehicles (EVs), but allows existing gas-powered vehicles to remain in service.

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Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm speaks during a press briefing at the White House on November 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File/AP Newsroom)

“This is a historic moment for California, for our partner states, and for the world as we blaze this path to an emissions-free future,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said before the agency gave the green light to the law.

The law could have a significant impact nationally since several states have attached their environmental policies to CARB actions. Washington and Massachusetts announced they would go with the rule, but the rule was pushed back in Virginia, Colorado and Minnesota.

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Meanwhile, the California Independent System Operator, the state’s network operator, has repeatedly urged residents in recent days not to charge their electric vehicles in an effort to conserve energy and reduce demand.

Granholm’s remarks represent the latest push from the Biden administration for massive growth in electric vehicles. The administration has advocated for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels to prevent cataclysmic climate change.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last year created an infrastructure program for electric vehicles and the Inflation Reduction Act, the Democrats’ $739 billion climate and tax package that is not expected to reduce inflation, extended a $7,500 tax credit for purchases of US-made electric vehicles. Biden has also personally visited automakers’ factories across the country to support the manufacture of electric vehicles.

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“Since taking office, we have implemented an industrial strategy to revitalize domestic manufacturing by creating well-paying American jobs, strengthening American supply chains, and energizing industries of the future like electric vehicles – and we let’s see this strategy pay off day after day,” Biden said in March.

“Last year, I signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Act to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure and brought United Auto Workers and automakers together at the White House to sign an executive order. aiming to achieve 50% of electric vehicle sales by 2030,” he continued.

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