Gov. Inslee vetoes measure to end sale of new gas-powered cars by 2030

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Inslee issued a veto that came as a surprise to many in the green energy community this week, striking down a measure that would have set a goal to end the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2030.

The measure was one facet of a larger bill, SHB 1287, which establishes publicly available mapping telling drivers where they can access charging and refueling stations for electric vehicles, and mandates electric charging capabilities in all new residential buildings by July 2024. Inslee’s veto applies solely to the section regarding the end of sales for new gas-powered cars by the end of decade, with the rest of the bill passing as is.

The bill had made the phasing out of gas-powered vehicles contingent on having at least 75% of registered vehicles in the state participating in a yet-to-be-completed pay-per-mile road usage charge.

That contingency was the primary reason Inslee cited for his partial veto.

“Transportation is our state’s greatest source of carbon emissions and we cannot afford to link an important goal like getting to 100% zero-emission vehicles to a separate policy that will take time to design and implement,” he said in a written release.

Inslee also affirmed his commitment “to getting to zero emission transportation as quickly as possible,” indicating that he still supports phasing out gas powered vehicles, provided it’s not tied to a pay-per-mile system that has yet to be fully realized.

Coltura — a locally-based environmental coalition that was a driving force behind the measure — issued a statement of its own shortly after the veto, addressing Inslee’s apprehension in tying the phase-out to the road usage charge.

“While we respect and share that concern, we still believe strongly — as do a majority of legislators and the people of Washington — that we cannot lose sight of this critical goal,” Coltura founder Matthew Metz said. “The passage of Clean Cars 2030 would have significantly reduced carbon emissions and created a safer, healthier future for all.”

Metz went on to the express that Coltura plans to continue working with Inslee’s office on a solution moving forward, pushing for the governor to take more immediate action in the interim.

“After the dust settles from this legislative session, we hope the governor will consider setting a goal by executive order for all new vehicles to be electric by 2030,” he clarified.