While most states have decided to phase out combustion engines in the next 20 years, the US state of Wyoming wants to go the opposite way. MEPs have introduced a resolution to ban electric cars from the streets.
“Phasing Out New Electric Vehicle Sales by 2035” is the title of a resolution that Republican Senator Jim Anderson and members of his party recently introduced in the Wyoming state legislature. Although there is no specific legislative project behind it, the declaration is intended to encourage residents of the state to buy a car with an internal combustion engine instead of an electric car in the future.
The deputies have two reasons for the unusual resolution. First, they are responding directly to a law that was passed in California last August. The sale of new cars with internal combustion engines will be banned there from 2035. So the Republicans are simply moving the opposite resolution.
This includes criticism of the “so-called climate crisis,” as Senator Brian Boner, also of the Wyoming Republicans, puts it. He sees the resolution as a protest against support for electric cars in large parts of the United States. “I just don’t like it when other states try to force technology through that is just not ready,” he said.
The authors of the resolution have listed several points of criticism. “The critical minerals used in electric batteries are not easily recyclable or disposable, meaning landfills in Wyoming and elsewhere must find ways to dispose of these minerals safely and responsibly.”
However, the criticism is nonsense: The minerals and rare earths used in batteries such as lithium, nickel and cobalt are extremely valuable and would probably never end up in a landfill. According to the GRS Batterien foundation, which takes care of the recycling of old batteries in Germany, around 93 percent of battery components were recycled in Germany in 2021. In the USA, the rate is hardly likely to be lower.
But that’s not the only criticism. The resolution also sees the lack of charging infrastructure in Wyoming as an obstacle, but ignores the fact that the US government, with the votes of both major parties, has just decided on an infrastructure package, as part of which 500,000 fast charging stations are to be built across the country, the cars charge in just 15 minutes.
However, the resolution is not only symbolic. The authors are also concerned with very tangible problems that Wyoming faces with modern climate policy. The state in the Northwest of the USA – none has fewer inhabitants – lives mainly from mining. Many people and companies live here from the mining of coal, natural gas and oil – three raw materials that are becoming less and less important as electric cars and renewable energies become more widespread. “It’s one of our proud and valuable industries that has created countless jobs,” the resolution reads.
With the resolution, the politicians also want to draw attention to this fact. However, their declaration is not binding. The only demand is that citizens and companies in Wyoming should voluntarily refrain from buying and using electric cars in order to ban these vehicles completely from the state by 2035. However, Republicans need not worry that their resolution could fail in the state legislature. 28 of Wyoming’s 30 senators are Republicans. In the state House of Representatives, there are 51 out of 60 members.
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