If the thought of being forced into an electric car makes you nauseous, don't plan a move to Wyoming just yet. Lawmakers in the Cowboy State proposed a resolution to ban the sale of new EVs in the entire state by 2035, but the measure was shot down after a lively debate.
Called Senate Joint Resolution 4, the resolution wouldn't have been an enforceable law. Had it passed, it would have been a symbolic measure that would have urged drivers not to buy an EV but that would have stopped short of making battery-powered cars illegal. The date wasn't chosen at random: 2035 is when a small group of states following California's lead plans to make gasoline-powered cars illegal.
The text pointed out a number of issues with electric cars: it noted that EVs aren't suited to Wyoming's roads due to the state's vastness and to the lack of a charging infrastructure, and it added that improving the infrastructure will "require massive amounts of new power generation in order to sustain the misadventure of electric vehicles." It also said that oil and gas production has "long been one of Wyoming's proud and valued industries" and that "countless jobs" depend on both sectors — idling production facilities will consequently slash numerous jobs.
Mineral-related problems appeared in the bill as well. Lawmakers argued that the United States has a limited supply of the minerals required to build a battery pack and that recycling them at the end of an EV's life cycle will require landfills to invest in new recycling techniques.
"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. I just don't appreciate when other states try to force technology that isn't ready," Senator Brian Boner explained to Cowboy State Daily.
The resolution failed to gain traction and was ultimately shot down after a long debate. One lawmaker argued that Wyoming has a large supply of lithium and rare-earth metals and can benefit from a shift to EVs, while another ran in the opposite direction and spoke in favor of closing certain roads to electric vehicles in the winter to ensure that motorists don't end up stranded after running out of electricity.
Keith Rittle, a representative for the Wyoming Outdoor Council, planted his stake somewhere in the middle: "It’s best if … Wyoming citizens retain freedom to choose for themselves, like the vehicles they prefer to drive," he opined during the debate.