The Wyoming Legislature is considering a resolution to phase out sales of new electric vehicles in the Cowboy State by 2035.
The resolution’s sponsors say Senate Joint Resolution 4 is a response to laws other states are implementing to eliminate gas-powered vehicles.
The resolution’s sponsor, Sen. Jim Anderson, R-Casper, told Cowboy State Daily the intention of the proposal, titled “Phasing Out New Electric Vehicle Sales By 2035,” is to push back against bans on new sales of cars with internal combustion engines in states like California and New York.
“The Legislature would be saying, ‘If you don’t like our petroleum cars, well, we don’t like your electric cars,’” Anderson said.
SJ 4 states that oil and gas production has been one of the Cowboy State’s “proud and valued industries” that has created “countless jobs” and revenues for Wyoming throughout its history.
The resolution also praises gas-powered vehicles for enabling the state’s industries and businesses to transport goods and resources throughout the nation.
It also notes a lack of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, which would impede widespread use of electric vehicles, saying their use is “impractical.”
A 2021 study by the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization based in Paris, calculated that EVs require six times more minerals than conventional cars, including critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, zinc and rare earths.
The resolution raises concerns about the ability of the U.S. critical mineral supply to meet increased demand from EV manufacturers and the potential waste problem from disposing of old EV batteries.
“The critical minerals used in electric batteries are not easily recyclable or disposable, meaning that municipal landfills in Wyoming and elsewhere will be required to develop practices to dispose of these minerals in a safe and responsible manner,” the resolution states.
SJ 4 seeks to encourage Wyoming’s industries and residents to voluntarily limit the sale and purchase of new EVs, with the goal of phasing them out entirely by 2035.
Unlike California’s ban on gas-powered cars, the resolution’s co-sponsor, Sen. Brian Boner, R-Douglas, said the Wyoming resolution would be meaningful in making a statement if passed, but it would be entirely symbolic.
“One might even say tongue-in-cheek, but obviously it’s a very serious issue that deserves some public discussion,” Boner said.
“I’m interested in making sure that the solutions that some folks want to the so-called climate crisis are actually practical in real life,” Boner said. “I just don’t appreciate when other states try to force technology that isn’t ready.”