California’s gas-car phaseout brings turmoil to mom-and-pop gas stations, and a new regulatory regime could spell doom for the industry as a whole.
California has proposed a plan to phase out the sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles beginning in July, 2020, to meet the state’s 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets. The state’s gas-only phaseout plan includes the conversion of the fleet from gasoline to natural-gas vehicles. The changes would make it more expensive to operate gas-powered vehicles. But they’re not expected to affect consumer demand, as the state has said the changes will not affect the number of cars on the road and will not cause a decline in U.S. auto sales.
It is the first time since 1971 that California will not sell or produce gasoline to meet its climate change targets, according to a report from the California Air Resources Board, which administers the state’s air quality program.
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“California will have to phase out gasoline and diesel sales, which are the two primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles,” said Cara M. Rose, the state’s air quality director. “Our goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and we need to meet all of our climate change goals, including our 2020 climate target.”
The state plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050. The state has set aside $1.26 billion to fund state agencies that develop, implement or enforce environmental laws and programs.
The decision to phase out gas-powered vehicle sales comes as California is struggling to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.
In 2018, the state began implementing a cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide. The program is expected to generate about $1.1 billion to fund state governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report.
The California Air Resources Board is expected to begin drafting a draft of the program’s regulations in January. The commission is required to finalize the regulations by July, 2020.
Rose said during the finalization process, the commission will consult with a number