CHEYENNE, Wyo. (WTVO) — Lawmakers in Wyoming filed a surprise resolution Friday that would ban the sale of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state, as a response to other states, including California, banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles.
Sen. Jim Anderson (R-Casper), who sponsored the bill, said the “Phasing Out New Electric Vehicle Sales by 2035” is intended to support the state’s petroleum industry.
“WHEREAS, the United States has consistently invested in the oil and gas industry to sustain gas-powered vehicles, and that investment has resulted in the continued employment of thousands of people in the oil and gas industry in Wyoming and throughout the country,” the bill reads.
According to the Cowboy State Daily, the bill raises concerns about the country’s ability to mine minerals critical to meet the supply of EV batteries, citing a study from the International Energy Agency that calculated EVs require 6 times more minerals than conventional cars.
“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 bill reads.
According to InsideEVs, the minerals used in EV batteries are valuable and will not be disposed of in a landfill, since as much of 90% of the material that makes up current batteries can be recycled.
The bill is also skeptical of widespread EV adoption, citing Wyoming’s lack of charging infrastructure.
However, the Biden administration has awarded $53.7 million to Illinois to build an electric vehicle charging network along the state’s highways.
The funds, established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will allow states to install 500,000 chargers across America and build a network of fast-charging stations across 53,000 miles of freeways from coast to coast.
The federal plan requires Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) high voltage to enable some vehicles to fully recharge in 15 minutes, depending on the capability of the vehicle.
At most, the resolution appears to be seen as symbolic, as the only action that it takes is to encourage Wyoming’s residents to purchase gas-powered cars instead of electric cars.
The resolution’s co-sponsors admitted the bill might be seen as a “tongue-in-cheek” response to a law passed in California which would ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035, but Sen. Brian Boner (R-Douglas) said, “Obviously it’s a very serious issue that deserves some public discussion.”
“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.”