Legislation would codify Delawareans’ opposition to electric vehicle sales mandate.
DOVER, DE – On Wednesday, June 7, 2023, Senator Pettyjohn’s Senate Bill 96 (SB 96) is slated to receive a hearing in the Senate Environment, Energy and Transportation Committee.
The introduction of SB 96 is in response to Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC) proposed regulation which would adopt California’s Advanced Clean Car II’s vehicle emission standards. If promulgated, sales of new vehicles under 14,000 pounds with standard combustion engines would be prohibited in lieu of zero-emission vehicles (predominantly electric vehicles) beginning in 2035.
Multiple polls show an overwhelming number of Delawareans oppose DNREC’s proposal, including 73% of those surveyed in February of this year. Another study, also conducted in February, shows only 18% of respondents either somewhat or strongly support Delaware adopting California’s language regarding electric vehicles.
“The outreach from constituents in the 19th Senate District and voters throughout the state has been enormous,” said Senate Republican Whip Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown). “Nearly all have voiced opposition to the mandate, including many who are generally more progressive in their opinions on environmental policy.”
SB 96 would prevent DNREC from prohibiting the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.
The legislation’s hearing comes less than two weeks after the public comment period regarding the proposed regulation closed. Of the nearly 5,000 comments received by DNREC, over 93% oppose the mandate.
“Thousands of Delawareans of all political leanings wrote to DNREC asking the Department to not follow through with the regulation,” Senator Pettyjohn stated. “SB 96 would codify the general public’s opposition to this mandate and would preserve their ability to purchase whatever vehicle best fits the needs of their family, business, or personal self.”
The Senate Environmental, Energy and Transportation Committee will meet Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. SB 96 is the only bill on the committee’s agenda.
There are some duplicate submissions on the mandate’s public comment page, both in support and opposition. The percentage of individuals supporting/opposing may slightly differ from the percentage of comments submitted opposing or supporting the proposed regulation.