The leader of the House Republicans offered a resolution during Thursday’s session asking DNREC to pause the implementation of California’s Advanced Clean Car II regulation.
Like other Republican attempts to rein in state efforts to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road, the motion failed 17 to 22.
The resolution also would have ask the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to publish a report on the impact that the regulation would have in Delaware and how it has impacted the 33 other states that have implemented it.
Rep. Mike Ramone, R-Pike Creek, who is also House minority leader, said he put forward the resolution to show his constituents that he tried.
Republicans are the most vocal in trying to stop or limit DNREC’s implementation of regulations pushing the sales of electric vehicles until new gas-power vehicle sales are phased out in 2035. DNREC is doing that in response to an executive order from Gov. John Carney, following the lead of other blue states.
Opponents say the order doesn’t take into account the much higher cost of electric vehicles, the lack of charging stations, the effect on the country’s electric grid, the need for higher mileage cars in more rural areas, and more.
“If they don’t vote it out, then at least I can go to the people that I represent and say I’ve done everything possible to try to help,” Ramone said. “Your voice, since you voted for me, was heard, and we weren’t successful and I’m sorry, but we’ll try harder next time.”
Two bills, House Bill 123, sponsored by Ramone and introduced on April 20, and Senate Bill 96, sponsored by Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown and introduced on April 19, each would restrict DNREC’s ability to implement the proposed regulation.
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HB 123 didn’t get enough signatures to be reported out of the House Natural Resources & Energy Committee and SB 96 has yet to be heard by the Senate Environment, Energy & Transportation Committee.
Asked why he was offering the resolution when other efforts failed, Ramone said it’s important to keep the conversation going.
“Because the more the topic is discussed, I think the more we’re representing our constituents,” Ramone said. “At least in our caucus, I believe our job is to represent the people in our district … Our caucus is in 100% agreement doing everything in our power to continue keeping this conversation alive, at least until the end of session.”
The public comment period for regulations closed on May 26, and it is up to Garvin to decide whether or not to implement the regulation.
Of the thousands of comments that DNREC received, Ramone said that a majority of them were people opposing the regulation.
The regulation that DNREC is looking to adopt follows California’s Advanced Clean Car I, which was adopted by Delaware in 2010 and went into effect in 2014. It required vehicles sold in the state to meet certain emission standards.
“I personally have a lot of friends on both sides of the aisle and most of them say the same thing,” Ramone said. “They’re surprised of the speed of which and the focus of which this is getting initiated.”
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