In August 2022 California Governor Gavin Newsom announced, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved, an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles be zero-emission by 2035. While the California directive doesn’t include motorcycles yet, motorcyclist advocates in the Golden State have warned that motorcycles will be an obvious next target.
Unsurprisingly, other states quickly followed suit and enacted similar policies. Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland have all sought to put similar restrictions in place. In total 17 states have laws that bind their emissions regulations to those of California.
However, leaders in many states, including those that are obliged to follow California’s lead, are pushing back. In Colorado, the Energy Office said, “While the governor shares the goal of rapidly moving towards electric vehicles, he is skeptical about requiring 100% of cars sold to be electric by a certain date as technology is rapidly changing.”
Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin was even more forceful, “I am already at work to prevent this ridiculous edict from being forced on Virginians. California’s out of touch laws have no place in our Commonwealth.”
This month the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a bill that would have forced New Hampshire to match California’s emissions goals.
Congressional Republicans are also joining the fight against the California policies. Last week H.R. 1435 was introduced, titled the “Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act.” H.R. 1435 would amend the Clean Air Act to prevent the elimination of the sale of internal combustion engines, effectively overruling California’s move. Within just a week, 66 cosponsors from 26 different states joined in support.
The movement isn’t contained to the United States. Last month, the European Parliament formally approved a law to effectively ban the sale of new gas and diesel powered vehicles in the European Union starting in 2035. But Europe, too, is seeing pushback. Farmers in the Netherlands have taken to the streets in protest of emissions regulations. Member nations of the EU are also expressing a desire to make changes to the newly enacted policy. Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia are discussing what changes they’d like to see to the European Union’s 2035 plan.
This issue is not new to the MRF. Our 2023 legislative agenda includes this priority: “Work against any efforts by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that endanger the future of motorcycling.”
We are ready for this fight and will work with partners across the country to defend the future of motorcycling and the lifestyle we cherish!