Maryland governor unveils plan to phase out new gas-powered cars
(The Hill) – Maryland will become the latest state to adopt the clean-car rules that originated in California, phasing out new gas-powered car sales by 2035, Gov. Wes Moore (D) announced Monday.
The Advanced Clean Cars II rule, first implemented in California in 2022 under a provision of the Clean Air Act, allows states to impose stricter car standards than their federal counterparts. The standards are not retroactive to existing cars or to used car sales.
“Today, we’re talking about a major transformation that is going to define this administration—and that’s how we turn Maryland from a state powered by oil and gas to a state powered by clean energy,” Moore said in a statement. “I am confident that the state of Maryland can and will lead the clean energy revolution.”
Projections by the state Department of the Environment estimates that under the rule, Maryland will see 383,000 fewer sales of new gas-powered vehicles by the end of the decade. The state could also see lower carbon dioxide emissions from both the vehicles themselves and the power plants used to manufacture them by over 82 million metric tons.
The department projects those reductions will in turn save just under $40 million in respiratory and cardiovascular health care costs relating to air pollution.
The state Air Quality Control Advisory Council voted to recommend proceeding with the rule the same morning as Moore’s announcement. The regulation would take effect in September following a public comment period.
The move makes Maryland the latest of several states to follow California’s lead. In December, regulatory bodies in Oregon and Washington voted to adopt the rules.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) said in August that the state was also compelled to adopt the rule under a 2021 law tying its vehicle rules to California’s. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), a vocal opponent of the rule, backed legislation decoupling the state from California’s rules but the majority-Democratic state senate defeated the measure earlier this year.