In a bad case of monkey see, monkey do, New York State lawmakers are considering a bill that would mimic California Gov. Gavin Newsome’s recent executive order that bans the sales of gas-powered cars and trucks beginning in 2035.
In late September, New York State Sen. Pete Harckham (D-Westchester) introduced a bill that would, “require all in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks be zero emission by 2035. The legislation further stipulates that all in-state sales of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks be zero emissions by 2045. Similar sales of off-road vehicles and power equipment will also be expected to be zero emissions by 2035.”
Given the recent election results in New York, in which many far-left candidates won several state house and senate seats, it seems more than likely that Harckham’s bill has a good chance of landing on Gov. Cuomo’s desk early in 2021.
Unfortunately, this bill would have dire consequences for New Yorkers.
First, the bill would cause electricity prices in the Empire State to skyrocket. As the law of supply and demand dictates, when demand for electricity increases substantially due to all the car charging stations that will be used to keep electric cars running, the price of electricity will increase significantly.
Second, New Yorkers who cannot afford expensive electric vehicles will bear the brunt of the burden. The price of used cars will likely increase as well, seeing as how demand for previously owned gasoline-powered cars will rise noticeably.
Third, New Yorkers will be less mobile. Electric vehicles, unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, do not have the same range and reliability. As of now, charging stations for electric vehicles are not nearly as commonplace as gas stations. For upstate New Yorkers, where charging stations are sparser than in New York City, this means less access to viable and reliable personal transportation.
Fourth, New Yorkers, who are already taxed to the hilt, will almost assuredly be forced to pay more taxes for the much-needed public infrastructure, such as thousands of charging stations, that will be necessary if the bill is passed.
However, these fairly obvious negative points, along with all the unintended consequences that this bill will produce, seems to fall on deaf ears in the New York State legislature.
Upon announcing the bill, Harckham said, “It’s time to intensify our fight against climate change, and a logical step is requiring vehicles to be entirely free of carbon and other toxic emissions.” That is easy for Harckham to say, who has a posh position in public office.
Yet, most hard-working New Yorkers, who are struggling just to get by in one of the most expensive states to live in, would disagree.
New York housing costs are some of the highest in the United States. New Yorkers also pay exorbitant taxes, which is one of the main reasons New Yorkers are leaving the state in droves.
Yet, this does not seem to matter much to out-of-touch New York lawmakers. According to Harckham, “We can no longer wait on the White House or car and truck manufacturers to make this important determination. The climate crisis that we are facing can only be averted with decisive action. The changeover to zero emission vehicles is just one part of a larger, all-out initiative necessary to save our planet.”
That statement should scare every New Yorker. Who knows what these legislators have up their sleeves concerning future legislation to avert what they consider to be the “existential threat” of climate change.
Instead of dreaming up bills that will add to the hard knocks most New Yorkers experience on a daily basis, perhaps New York State lawmakers should be working on solutions to address the real existential threats the Empire State is facing, such as crime, poverty, sky high taxes, failing public schools, and out-of-control housing costs.
Chris Talgo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.