The state of Wyoming is considering phasing out electric vehicle sales by 2035. This is expected to ensure the stability of its oil and gas industry. The bill SJ0004 is sponsored by senators Jim Anderson, Brian Boner, Ed Cooper, Dan Dockstader, Representatives Donald Burkhart, Jr, and Bill Henderson.
In the bill, the group of politicians claimed that oil and gas production has been one of the state’s proud and valued industries, creating “countless jobs” and contributing “revenues to the state of Wyoming throughout the state’s history.” The group also based their worries on a lack of EV charging infrastructure which would “make the widespread use of electric vehicles impracticable for the state.”
The bill praises gas-powered vehicles for allowing the state’s industries and businesses to flourish and criticize the use of batteries in electric vehicles due to the critical minerals contained in them. The bill states that the minerals in the batteries are “not easily recyclable or disposable” and claimed that municipal landfills in the state would be required to develop safe and responsible disposal solutions for the minerals. The bill then praises the oil and gas industry. It states: “The proliferation of electric vehicles at the expense of gas-powered vehicles will have deleterious impacts on Wyoming’s communities and will be detrimental to Wyoming’s economy and the ability for the country to efficiently engage in commerce.”
In 2021, Wyoming ranked eighth nationally in crude oil production, producing 85.43 million barrels of crude oil. In February 2022, a study by Allied Market Research found that the global EV market will grow in valuation by five times by 2030. In 2020, the EV market size was valued at $163.01 billion. The new study expects that number to reach $823.74 billion by 2030. Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has stated several times that the all-electric vehicle maker would be more valuable than Saudi Aramco. After seeing Tesla’s success with EVs, many legacy automakers are now producing their own EVs, and President Biden has also been focused on EVs and creating a national charging infrastructure. With 40,000 and counting charging stations worldwide, Tesla is currently the largest DC fast-charging network on the planet.
Wyoming’s support of the oil and gas industry is highly visible in SJ0004. Considering the results from the aforementioned study and Tesla’s production and delivery numbers, oil and gas industry leaders are clearly worried about the growth of EVs. “Phasing out the sale of new electric vehicles in Wyoming by 2035 will ensure the stability of Wyoming’s oil and gas industry and will help preserve the country’s critical minerals for vital purposes,” the bill stated.