Wyoming looks to ban sale of new EVs

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

I will admit that when this headline popped up in my feed, I immediately thought it was satire from the Babylon Bee or something similar. “Wyoming is set to BAN sales of new electric vehicles by 2035 to ‘ensure the stability’ of its oil and gas industry.” But given the number of blue states that have already mandated the use of electric vehicles and banned the sale of gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035 (or sooner), it was probably inevitable that a red state would decide to turn the tables. Nobody expects this to actually happen and one of the Republicans in the state legislature who is supporting the resolution described it as “entirely symbolic” and even “tongue in cheek.” But they have a point to make and this is how they’re choosing to do it. (Daily Mail)

Wyoming has introduced state legislation to ban the sale of new electric vehicles by 2035 to ‘ensure the stability’ of its oil and gas industry.

The announcement comes as several states, including New York, California and Oregon, move to phase out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles to combat climate change.

Wyoming officials argue that the oil and gas production has created ‘countless jobs’ and contributed ‘revenues to the state of Wyoming throughout its history.’

The legislators brought up a number of completely valid points in this resolution. Among them is the fact that killing the demand for gasoline would cause a serious, negative impact on Wyoming’s oil and gas industry. In 2021, Wyoming was the country’s 8th highest oil-producing state, despite having the smallest population. Almost 70,000 jobs in Wyoming are provided by the industry.

The resolution also notes that very few charging stations have been set up in Wyoming’s sprawling rural regions, so travel in those areas by people with EVs is challenging at best and could prove dangerous at worst. The bill’s authors also note that EVs have environmental problems of their own because ‘the critical minerals used in electric batteries are not easily recyclable or disposable.’

With all of that said, this is still a rather silly bill and it’s frankly not very conservative in nature. The engine of the United States is driven by free commerce and it requires a competitive market. Banning EVs in your state doesn’t make you any better than the blue states that are banning gas-driven cars and trucks. If there is little demand for EVs in Wyoming for the reasons stated above, people simply won’t buy them unless they are forced to do so by the government.

Further, it’s not the state’s job to “ensure the stability” of its oil and gas industry. The industry should be able to stand on its own two feet or make room for someone who can deliver better results. Yes, it’s true that the playing field is totally unlevel. Democrats have endlessly pushed subsidies for “green energy” companies that would otherwise be unable to compete while delivering an inferior product. But the ideal solution is to win more elections and remove those subsidies, allowing everyone to compete on an even basis.

Still, we should give the appropriate amount of credit to Wyoming’s state legislature for at least being creative. This proposal will serve as a dare to the liberals in the media to shout it down by saying that such a mandate is damaging. If they do that, then they have to explain why the opposite bans and mandates in blue states are still somehow “fair.” Or at least they would have to do that if we still had a functional and balanced press. Sadly, that ship has long since sailed.

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