Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Monday warned in a letter sent to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) that his executive order banning gas-powered vehicles may be unlawful, Reuters reports.
Wheeler wrote that Newsom’s plan “raises serious questions regarding its legality and practicality” and argued that it may cause further issues problems plaguing the state’s electrical grid.
“California’s record of rolling blackouts – unprecedented in size and scope – coupled with recent requests to neighboring states for power begs the question of how you expect to run an electric car fleet that will come with significant increases in electricity demand, when you can’t even keep the lights on today,” the Trump official stated.
Newsom has yet to reply to the EPA.
As of Monday afternoon, approximately 87,500 Pacific Gas and Electric Company customers in California were without power in effort to avoid starting additional wildfires, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Last week, Newsom announced that the state will ban sales of gas-powered vehicles in 2035, calling the order an “audacious” goal that was necessary for the state to operate on 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
The plan won’t stop people from owning gas-powered cars or selling them on the used car market. But in 2035 it would end the sale of all new such vehicles in the state of nearly 40 million people. That accounts for more than one out of every 10 new cars sold in the U.S.
California would be the first state with such a mandate, while at least 15 other countries have already made similar commitments, including Germany, France, and Norway.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.