Officials in America’s most populous state have come out of the closet and admitted they would like to ban the internal-combustion engine. Those interested in the ban include California’s executive Governor Jerry Brown (D-Oakland).
“To reach the ambitious levels of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we have to pretty much replace all combustion with some form of renewable energy by 2040 or 2050,” Mary Nichols admitted in a September 26, Bloomberg interview. Nichols is the chairman of the California Air Resources Board.
Brown would like to follow the lead of the People’s Republic of China, the United Kingdom, and France – all of which have announced plans for similar bans. News articles indicate that officials in all three countries would like to phase out the sale of new internal-combustion-engine vehicles by 2040.
“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already,” Nichols revealed. Nichols did not say how far along the ban plans are, or reveal specific details.
Can California Kill the Internal Combustion Engine?
Such a ban might set up a major conflict between California and the federal government. Under the U.S. Constitution, California has the power to implement such a ban but Congress has the power to override it.
Since oil-producing states like Texas and Oklahoma and auto manufacturing areas such as Michigan and Texas have representation in Congress they are likely to move to block such a ban. President Donald J. Trump (R-New York); who is viewed as a friend of the oil industry, is likely to be opposed as well.
There is a note of self-serving hypocrisy in Brown’s interest in killing the internal combustion engine. The world’s best-known and largest all-electric automaker Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TESLA) is based in California. Tesla’s only large factory is located in Freemont, a suburb of Brown’s hometown of Oakland.
It looks as if the first major political battle between friends and enemies of the internal combustion engine might occur on U.S soil. Voter reaction might be the factor that settles such a battle. Brown will undoubtedly have to contend with opposition in the state legislature and ballot initiatives aimed at protecting the internal combustion engine if he moves forward with this plan.