Why Support a Gasoline Phaseout?

A gasoline phaseout is a rule providing that, starting with a certain model-year, all new passenger vehicles sold must be zero emissions vehicles. People could keep, sell and purchase older gasoline vehicles without restriction.  (Zero emissions vehicles are, and are expected to continue to be, predominantly electric vehicles (EVs)).  

California Assemblyman Phil Ting has introduced bills advancing a 2040 gasoline phaseout for the state of California; at the federal level, bipartisan legislation has been introduced for a nationwide 2040 gasoline phaseout.

Coltura is advancing 2030 phaseouts for California, Washington state, and ultimately the U.S. However, we support 2040 phaseouts as a positive first step. Here are some benefits of gasoline phaseouts in general, and a California gasoline phaseout in particular:

Benefits

Health:

·       Addresses vehicle emissions, a major contributor to air pollution, responsible for 21,000 premature deaths a year in California, as well as increased rates of asthma, heart and lung diseases, dementia and cancers.

 

Environment:

·       Addresses transportation emissions, the biggest source of carbon emissions, at 36% of the US carbon footprint, 41% for California (with light-duty vehicles making up 70% of the total), and 47% for Washington State.

·       Helps ensure California meets its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, and reaching carbon neutrality by 2045.

·       Reduces the environmental destruction (including spills, explosions, habitat disruption, and land, air and water contamination) connected with oil exploration, drilling, extraction, transportation, refining, use and waste product disposal.

·       Decreases the market for gasoline and the crude oil it comes from, removing the financial basis for oil exploration and drilling projects, including those off the California coast.

Business/Economy:

·       Sends a clear signal that the gasoline era is ending. The phase-out date creates certainty for investors, automakers and parts suppliers, the EV charging industry, utilities and governments that the shift to clean vehicles will happen, helping them plan for the transition and ensure it takes place in a smooth, orderly fashion.

·       Puts California businesses, utilities, and government on the leading edge of the EV revolution; helps ensure California EV automakers, EV charging infrastructure companies, battery companies, EV startups, and EV-related products and services companies remain competitive as the global trend towards vehicle electrification continues.

·       Benefits California’s electronic industry -- EVs have $4,000 more in electronics than equivalent gas cars.

·       Ultimately saves $15 billion/year in health and climate costs in California from smog, soot and climate pollution of vehicle emissions.

·       Moves billions of dollars to the domestic economy from crude oil (mostly imported from OPEC countries and Alaska).

·       Gives Californians control over pricing and sources of transportation fuel; insulates Californians from volatile oil prices.

 

Environmental Justice/Economic Justice:

·       Enables millions of people (2.5 million in Southern California alone), mostly communities of color, who live near roadways, to breathe cleaner air.

·       Helps avoid the health impacts of gas car emissions, including  asthma, heart and lung disease, dementia and cancers, and related educational, financial, and quality-of-life detriments.

·       Expands options for low income residents to lower their vehicle fuel costs via discounted electricity rates and discounted solar panels and solar for affordable housing (vs gasoline, which costs the same for everyone).

Household Economics:

·       Lowers total costs of vehicle ownership, primarily via lower fuel costs and less maintenance for EVs.

·       Lowers electricity rates for all Californians – not only those who drive an electric vehicle.

·       Lowers health care costs for Californians, through fewer doctor visits for patients and lowered health insurance premiums and tax burdens for the broader public.

·       Enables savings of many hours spent on gas station fill-ups and mechanical car maintenance.

 

Personal Choice/Freedom:

·       Ensures a wide selection of makes and models of clean: trucks, SUVs, sports cars, CUVs, luxury vehicles, compact cars and everything in between, with automakers offering competitive prices to compete for drivers’ business.

·       Enables drivers to travel by personal vehicle without also having to pollute the air and cause harm to health and climate.

·       Frees drivers from having to purchase fuel at toxic gas stations with prices set by volatile global forces.

·       Facilitates a future in which drivers can fuel from the comfort of home, and make their own fuel from sun and wind.

 

Electric Grid:

·       Enables more clean, renewable electricity on the grid, with EVs acting as battery storage units.

·       Enables avoidance of costs of building new power plants.

·       Enables reduction of grid operating costs by balancing supply and demand.

·       Supports emergency-response situations (in which power can be provided from EV batteries).

·       Enables EVs to serve as battery storage for the grid.

Taxpayer Benefits:

·       Provides the cheapest, most effective policy to get more clean cars on the road.  California has 25 million passenger vehicles, and sells two million/year. With AB 1745, beginning in 2040, all two million new vehicles will be clean -- with no taxpayer outlay.

 

Political Control:

·       Reduces California’s (and America’s) need to risk the lives of troops to secure supplies of oil.

·       Loosens the oil lobby’s grip on California politicians.

 

Jobs:

·       Creates hundreds of thousands of California jobs related to transportation electrification in areas such as auto design and manufacture, charging infrastructure, public awareness/education, grid upgrades and operation, battery manufacture, electronics/software, research and development and innovation.

·       Economic growth from fuel cost savings increases average real wages and employment across the economy (even for those who don’t buy a new EV). On average, a dollar saved at the gas pump and spent on the other goods and services that households want creates 16 times more jobs.

·       Expands fuel supply work from a few giant corporations that have controlled the fuel system for decades to create new companies and job opportunities.

 

Morality:

·       Creates moral clarity around California’s total rejection of gasoline as a fuel. Solidifies California’s position that it would be irresponsible and immoral to keep using a fuel that is a primary source of air pollution killing thousands annually and of carbon pollution, when there are clean alternatives.