In a significant move to combat climate change, the state of California recently passed a law that will ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035.
News reports and dozens of posts online recently suggested that the state of Wyoming responded by proposing its own ban to take effect in 2035 – but this one on electric cars.
Some tweets even suggested the ban had already taken effect. But was such a ban really passed?
Is Wyoming banning electric vehicles?
No, Wyoming is not banning electric vehicles. State senators proposed a resolution to discourage the sale of electric cars, but it was not a ban, and it did not pass.
WHAT WE FOUND
On Jan. 13, a group of Wyoming Republican state senators introduced a resolution calling for the state to phase out electric vehicles by 2035, the same year that new gas-powered vehicle sales will be banned in California.
The resolution lists several reasons why the lawmakers prefer gas cars, and then “encourages Wyoming's industries and citizens to limit the sale and purchase of new electric vehicles in Wyoming with a goal of phasing out the sale of new electric vehicles in Wyoming by 2035.”
But encouraging that action is as far as the proposal goes. It’s a non-binding resolution, not an actual ban. That means, if passed, it would have had no practical effect – all cars could continue to be bought and sold as normal.
In a committee hearing on Jan. 16, lawmakers highlighted the purely symbolic nature of the proposal.
“This is just a resolution, it’s not a law. So it’s just making a statement. It’s not changing anything that happens in the state,” state Sen. Jim Anderson (R-Casper) told the Wyoming Senate Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee.
One section of the resolution says that a copy of it should be sent to the governor of California as a way to emphasize that statement.
The committee heard roughly 30 minutes of debate on the resolution but none of the members moved to vote on it, meaning the proposal is dead.
“This was made as a message, as a statement. It’s done its job. Let’s let it die here,” said committee member Sen. Ed Cooper (R-Ten Sleep).
Both gas and electric vehicles remain legal in Wyoming.