A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

About that gas-power car ban in ’35

Written December 20th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

Lots of cars, most though not all driven by internal combustion engines, crowd the Heritage Mall parking lot on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.

It’s surprising that there has been so little reaction or pushback since Oregon state rule makers on Monday went ahead with their plan to ban sales of piston-driven cars and pickups starting in 2035.

Maybe the reason is the effective date, almost 12 years from now. Maybe the people normally paying attention to the news are of an age when 12 years seems far away, or in the opposite case when they expect no longer to be around.

It would be ideal if our rule makers were limited to making rules only for now and next year. Then everybody would feel the effect right away.

Before the Environmental Quality Commission voted 3-1 to adopt the new rule on zero-emission cars, it did receive a number of critical comments. But it brushed them aside.

For instance, somebody offered this comment, as reproduced on the new rule’s website:

“Emissions from India and China are contributing the problem. Banning cars will
not have an effect in Oregon, must less have an effect worldwide. Oregon is simply too small to
have ANY impact on the future of global warming, and it makes no sense for government to
punish Oregon citizens to achieve something so amorphous and far into the future. Pollution in
Oregon is low, and Oregonians’ contribution to global warming is minuscule. Even if every
Oregonian cut their emissions to zero there would be no measurable impact on global carbon.”

The Department of Enrivonmental Quality’s response:

“Thank you for your comment. DEQ disagrees with the commenters that the rules
will not have an effect in Oregon. The proposed rules are anticipated to reduce CO2 emissions
between 48 MMT and 54.1 MMT per year by 2040. These reductions will improve climate
outcomes in Oregon while ensuring vulnerable communities are not continuing to experience
the harmful effects of climate change. Even incremental GHG reductions can help and without
an integrated effort by states and countries, the world will continue to experience global

And: “No, we did not make changes to address this comment.”

In other words, thanks but get lost.

The new rule takes effect not all at once in 2035. It requires increasing percentages of zero-emission vehicles to be sold in Oregon starting with the 2026 model year, ending with 100 percent of sales in 2035.

What if car makers and sellers fail to keep up? Or what if Oregonians don’t buy the zero-emission vehicles that are for sale? Or if they start buying gas-powered vehicles from dealers in Idaho?

The state commission left itself a possible way out. The rule calls for a status check and evaluation in 2030. Then, whoever is in charge in Salem can either get tough or call the whole thing off. (hh)

27 responses to “About that gas-power car ban in ’35”

  1. Bill Kapaun says:

    Can you imagine Memorial & Labor day weekends and the extreme bottle necks cause by lack of charging facilities at major traffic points. How about weekend excursions to the mountains? Where are you going to plug in? Your gas generator?

    Why don’t they mandate electric cars have a certain % of their surface area covered by solar cells instead of being a total parasite, sucking on the grid. They could help themselves make less of a footprint, or do they have more rights than the citizens of the state?

  2. thomas earl cordier says:

    thanks again hh for fact and your commentary. When the truth comes out about mining the materials for batteries and the disposal issues of those batteries; new decisions will be forced. Perhaps by then dysfunctional public education will be renovated to move past false gender reassignment proposals and embrace a voucher system to obtain a better education. Current political leaders have produced poor policies based on exaggerated
    urgency doomsday predictions. Take a breath.

  3. Bob Zybach says:

    This is stupid politics and won’t ever happen. Again. Here are some aging politicians trying to signal how “woke” they are before cooler (and obviously smarter) heads prevail. The people who voted this in should be identified as nitwits and turned out to pasture because of their blatant self-serving politics, in my opinion.

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    In addition to carbon based fuels and nuclear Government should immediately ban hydro and biomass.

    Government must allow only the production and purchase of “green” energy (wind & solar).

    I’ve rebalanced my stock portfolio and loaded up on Vestas & First Solar.

    I’m no fool. I’m fully committed to a green future.

    A wind turbine in every yard, solar panels on every roof. That’s the future….

  5. Anon says:

    A policy that has this much impact on citizens should require an approval of the legislature, a body whose members are directly accountable to the voters.

  6. Hartman says:

    Hasso is correct. We should ONLY do those things that everyone else is doing. That way, change will never come. The likelihood is that by 2035, guys like Hering and myself will either be pushing-up daisies or be incapable of driving any manner of motorized vehicle. Still, it is good to know that Hering is standing strong against unseen forces, applying his power brakes on progress. He obviously knows/understands a great deal more than those who study these matters for a living. We should certainly put the future health of the planet in the hands of Albany opinion-makers rather than those annoying scientists.

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      Please include climate expert Greta Thunberg in your list of “those who study these matters for a living.”

      She has called for an end to “blah blah blah” (presumably government inaction).

      Oregon clearly heard Greta’s reasoned plea.

      Next up? Given each Oregonian emits 58 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year, DEQ will supplement Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act to enable voluntary human extinction.

      As an incentive, the state will provide free membership in the Church of Euthanasia.

      Getting rid of people is the elephant in the room. Banning gas cars and natural gas are piss-ants in comparison.

    • WidgetMaker75 says:

      Hartman: Perfectly stated!

  7. Don says:

    Lets see, need to take hydro dams out and need to quit using fossil fuel. So we will stay home and no more trips to the stores etc????

  8. DSimpson says:

    This from OregonLive:

    “The new rule, based on vehicle emission standards adopted by California in August, requires car manufacturers to sell a certain percentage of zero-emission vehicles – electric cars, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – as part of their total sales, starting with 35 percent in 2026 and increasing to 100 percent by 2035.

    The rule allows for sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles, which run primarily on electricity but also are able to run on gas, to provide flexibility for Oregonians, especially those in rural areas with fewer charging stations.”

    Your post states, “Oregon state rule makers on Monday went ahead with their plan to ban sales of piston-driven cars and pickups starting in 2035.”

    Which quote is inaccurate?

    • Al NYMAN says:

      You bring up an interesting point as hybrids obviously cause CO2 as the electric engine in my son’s Highlander is good for about 35 miles of range. I’m sure somebody will clarify it for us.

  9. ks says:

    People might complain until they see how much cheaper electrical cars are concerning maintenance, fewer parts that break.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Total speculation about a car that costs about twice as much as a gasoline vehicle. Look up how much it costs to replace the battery pack which DOES need to be done every “few” years. Then the toxic waste of trying to recycle batteries isn’t a pretty situation. They AREN’T as “clean” as you think.

  10. Adam says:

    Wow, where do I start on this. How about the economics and I’ll leave it at that. The price of lithium (used in EV batteries) has soared 550% since 2020 to $72,550/ton. Current projections are that the price might level off but will go higher as demand increase. Great if you have money to invest in the raw commodity, but not so much if you are the consumer.

    According to KKB (Kelly Blue Book) the average price for an EV car in the US in 2022 is $66,000. Manufacturers continue to increase the prices of these vehicles because the materials they are made of are not readily available and rare. In addition, manufacturers are currently very dependent on supplies of raw and finished materials that come from counties that do NOT have our best interest in mind.

    I drive a 1-ton pickup. For what I do nothing else will work. Many people in rural Oregon and trades folks use heavy duty vehicles to make a living. I’m sure that by 2035 there will be an EV version truck that will do the same but how much will it cost? My suspicion is one heck of a lot of money if the current average for car is $66,000.

    When 2035 rolls around will the average Oregonian be able to afford an EV or hybrid vehicle, I suspect not. The trend is not our friend in this case but it does give ultra-liberal folks the excuse to push us all into mass transit, part two of their secret plan.

    OK, I’m being a little cheeky here, but proposals need to be reasonable and the 2035 deadline and limitations are not.

    • Anon says:

      Try to buy an electric pick up today. It’s a two year wait. That’s without these new mandates.

    • The truth says:

      Please do take the time to read the proposed rules prior to making statements that are not actually what the rule would require.

      In your post you referenced your 1-ton truck. The rule specifically is targeting light and medium duty cars and trucks. So anything over 10,000 GVW would be exempt. So your 3/4 and 1-ton trucks are not required to be zero emissions. I suspect the manufacturers with make them some form of hybrid for the additional torque, but they won’t be required to.

      We all need to keep in mind that we already have electric workhorses in trains. I suspect you will be seeing that type of system in a work truck or semi. You have all electric for light duty work and then a diesel or gas power plant to charge the batteries for extended use and maybe to provide additional hp/torque.

      The biggest challenge is the infrastructure as I agree with everyone that all electric is not achievable to most of us if we are doing more then a trip into and around town. If you are out of the I-5 corridor charging stations are few and far apart and most hybrids don’t allow fast charging.

      That is one positive of the rules. Standardized charging and charging rates between zev and PHEV. Silly that Ford, Chevy, and Toyota think plug-in hybrids didn’t need fast charging.

  11. Richard Vannice says:

    I have a question – What is stopping the “Emissions” from crossing state lines? Aren’t they moved about by air currents? IMO just another bureaucratic move with no thought.
    Come on people it is going to take the whole world to fix this problem just as it took the whole world to cause it.

  12. Brad Dennis says:

    Why is such an important policy decision made by un-elected bureaucrats rather than our elected representatives in Salem. I’ve asked this same question of our state senator and am waiting for a response.

    • The Truth says:

      The legislature actually passed this in 2019 see Senate Bill 1044, 2019 Legislature. While I did not read the full bill it appears from the base language by 2035 the legislation required 90% zev.

  13. sonamata says:

    The comment was full of incorrect (mostly speculative) assertions, and clearly displayed the commenter’s shallow understanding of the issue. It was appropriate for the DEQ to brush it off.

  14. hj.anony1 says:

    The horse drawn carriage is still angry about the last transportation revolution.

  15. Bob says:

    Welcome to reality! Small planet, too many people using too much and causing too much pollution and habitat loss. Its an enigma or cruel irony that we humans cannot enjoy, our taken for granted, resources for ever and ever. At some point we will use up petroleum and have to switch to another technology. I don’t have much hope that people can ever agree on a solution until the shite hits the fan.

  16. Jon Thompson says:

    Like congestion rolling in the Portland metro area, mandating an end to gas and diesel vehicles is far too important to be left to the whims of the people. They’re very careful to keep it away from any direct vote.


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