Washington State Gov. Inslee Signs Bill to Outlaw New Gas Vehicles by 2030
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. (Elaine Thompson/Pool/Getty Images)
By Nicole Wells | Tuesday, 05 April 2022 07:48 PM
Not to be outdone by New York and California, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed aggressive legislation last week that outlaws most new gas-powered vehicles in the state by 2030, The Post Millennial reports.
The famously liberal East and West Coast states recently announced bans on new non-electric vehicles that seek to end their sale by 2035.
The $16.9 billion ''Move Ahead Washington'' package includes the bill requiring all publicly and privately owned passenger and light-duty vehicles model year 2030 or later that are sold, bought or registered in the state to be electric.
While many states are pausing their gas taxes due to record-high gas prices and the impact they are having on families, the Washington transportation package is directly funded by gasoline taxes, which amounts to a $5.4 billion tax increase over several years, according to the Washington Policy Center.
"Transportation is our state's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions,'' Inslee said in a statement. ''There is no way to talk about climate change without talking about transportation. This package will move us away from the transportation system our grandparents imagined and towards the transportation system our grandchildren dream of."
He added that the legislation included funding for thousands of new electric vehicle charging stations, four new hybrid-electric ferries and 25 transit electrification projects, as well as free fares for riders 18 and younger on public transportation systems.
According to the nonprofit Commute Seattle's annual survey of downtown businesses, the number of commuters in downtown Seattle taking public transportation has dropped significantly. In 2019, nearly half of downtown commuters took public transit to work. By the end of 2021, only 18% did because of the shift to remote work.
Fifty-eight percent of workers made the switch to remote work at some of the region's biggest employers, according to Commute Seattle.
Carpooling, biking and walking to downtown Seattle declined as well, according to the survey, although the number of single drivers commuting to work stayed the same.
If gas-powered vehicles are largely eliminated, the challenge for Washington state Democrats will be finding a way to replace the gas tax. Ideas such as a usage tax based on miles driven or a congestion tax have been floated.
Many Seattle area residents are hesitant to use public transportation, according to The Post Millennial, because of unchecked drug use on trains and buses and assaults on transit riders.
Coltura, a nonprofit that calls for phasing out the use of gasoline, worked with state Democrats in the Legislature to pass the bill.
''The war in Ukraine and the burden of high gas prices on families demonstrate the importance of ending our dependence on gasoline and preparing for an all-electric transportation future,'' Coltura Co-Executive Director Matthew Metz said in a statement.
''By targeting 2030 as an end date for the sales of gasoline cars in Washington, Clean Cars 2030 gives confidence to consumers, automakers, utilities, investors, and others that now is the time to go all-in on an all-EV future."