California Sens. Diane Feinstein and Alex Padilla are pushing President Biden to do something even bigger than his proposed incentives for people to buy electric cars: follow California’s lead in banning the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035.

In a letter the two Senators sent to Biden on March 19, they urge the administration to uphold states’ ability to set emissions standards, but to also establish “strong nationwide standards for greenhouse gas emissions, fuel economy, and zero-emission vehicles.”

We support aggressive national standards for greenhouse gas emissions, clean transportation technology, and sensible fuel economy for passenger vehicles. We urge your administration to restore pollution standards that actually protect public health and welfare, set fuel economy standards at the maximum level feasible, and advance national standards for zero-emission vehicles and equipment to ensure the United States remains a leader in clean technology, engineering, and manufacturing. We believe the national baseline should, at an absolute minimum, be built around the technical lead set by companies that voluntarily advanced their agreements with California. We also urge you to follow California’s lead and set a date by which all new cars and passenger trucks sold be zero-emission vehicles.

As Bethany Blankley reported for The Center Square, there’s more to an electric vehicle’s effect on the environment than meets the eye:

…electric cars are worse for the environment per mile than comparable gasoline-powered cars, according to a report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Among its findings, the researchers concluded, “over ninety percent of local environmental externalities from driving an electric vehicle in one state are exported to others, implying that electric vehicles may be subsidized locally, even though they may lead to negative environmental benefits overall.”

Market forces and individual choice are already moving toward electrics, and that trend may accelerate substantially as battery life improves and costs fall. 

The change is already underway without Uncle Sam’s mandate, senators. Let the market work.

Image Credit: Coolcaesar at the English language Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (