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Should CA's Ban on New Gas Cars Be a 'Model' For US? Granholm Responds.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm praised California’s ban on the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 and said it could serve as a model for the rest of the country.


During an interview that aired Friday with FOX 11 Los Angeles, host Elex Michaelson first asked whether she liked the regulation approved by the California Air Resources Board to reduce carbon emissions.

“Yeah, I do. I think California really is leaning in,” she replied. “And of course, the federal government has a goal of — the president has announced — by 2030 that half of the vehicles in the U.S., the new ones sold would be electric.”

Michaelson then wondered whether she believed it “could or should be a national model.”

“Could be, could be,” she said. “I know every state is different, and you always have to respect what the states are doing, but I do think that once people — I mean, California has gotten more used to electric vehicles, and we have to bring down the price of electric vehicles so that everybody can access them. And this is why it’s great that there’s a $4,000 tax credit, for example, on used electric vehicles that has just been adopted through the Inflation Reduction Act. So, once they get more acceptable, I think those numbers don’t sound as daunting.”

The interview came as the California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state’s grid, issued warnings in recent days about not charging EVs to conserve energy.

Touching on this point, Michaelson asked her to address Californians’ concerns about the grid.


“Another concern a lot of people have is the grid, and we talked about this earlier this week,” he said. “We had the situation this week where they say, don’t charge your electric vehicles during peak hours, which is kind of scary for people that think, a few years from now, we’re going to have all electric vehicles out there, what happens then? What do you say to people who feel like we’re just not going to be ready by 2035, that’s not realistic?”

Granholm said 2035 “is a long way away,” but noted “we have to add power to the grid, clean power.”

She continued: “We’ve got to add transmission lines to be able to bring that clean power to places where it’s needed. All of that is happening right now. I mean, all of that, we’re pushing on all of these levers simultaneously to get clean power onto the nation’s electric grid. We have got to double the size of the electric grid in this country, and we’re doing that.”

In the meantime, at least a dozen other states are poised to adopt California's regulations, as many have tied their environmental policies to what CARB decides. Washington and Massachusetts have already announced they plan to adopt the rule, though other states, like Virginia, are pushing back. 

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