Maryland Mistakenly Follows California’s Ban on Gas-Powered Cars | Citizens Against Government Waste

Maryland Mistakenly Follows California’s Ban on Gas-Powered Cars

The WasteWatcher

When the California Air Resources Board issued a rule to ban the sale of all new gas-powered passenger cars and trucks in the state by 2035, it set an unfortunate precedent that other states are starting to follow.  The directive, issued on August 25, 2022, came within the board’s two-year deadline to issue its rule as required under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) September 25, 2020, executive order that called for the end of gas-powered passenger vehicles.  The most recent state to follow California’s lead is Maryland. 

On March 13, 2023, Gov. Wes Moore (D) announced that his state would phase out the sale of new gas powered vehicles by 2035.  This decision, which came with no input from voters or their representatives in the General Assembly, marks the latest step to force Americans to move toward green energy with complete disregard of the cost and no guarantee of success.

After the California Air Resources Board issued its order in August, 2022, several states chose to adopt the restrictions.  Under the Clean Air Act, California was provided with a waiver allowing it to set stricter pollution requirements than those imposed on the rest of the country, and states are permitted to follow California’s standards.  Some states, like Virginia, are bound by law to adopt any new standards like those implemented by California’s Air Resources Board, but Maryland is not required by law to do so. 

Implementing air quality standards and mandates adopted by California not only ignores the needs and circumstances of the people of Maryland, but also seeks to force Marylanders to move to electric vehicles sooner than they may be ready to.  The bans on gas-powered cars across the country signifies an effort to force Americans to move past gas-powered cars with no consideration of their needs and circumstances, or the nation’s ability to generate enough electricity to abandon gas-powered cars on an arbitrary timeline based more on politics than science.

Forcing every American to drive an electric vehicle would require an estimated 20 to 50 percent more electricity than is currently being generated.  The United States currently lacks the capacity to produce that much.  To satisfy the goals of politicians like Maryland’s Gov. Moore and California’s Gov. Newsom, this massive increase in energy production would have to come entirely from renewable energy sources, which currently produces 20 percent of the current U.S. energy supply. 

Gov. Moore’s decision to unilaterally ban the sale of gas-powered cars in Maryland demonstrates that he would rather win political points, rather than meet the needs and circumstances of his state’s residents, many of whom reside in rural areas of the state or cannot afford the high cost of an electric powered vehicle.  He should at least allow the state legislature to make the decision so that Marylanders have more direct input into what they will be able to drive in the future.