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Lawmaker introduces bill to ban sales of emissions-expelling cars in California by 2040

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An electric vehicle charging station is seen at the Fifth and Mission garage in San Francisco, Calif., February 28, 2017 (James Chan/Special to S.F. Examiner)

By the year 2040 California may no longer sell vehicles that emit exhaust.

That’s the aim of Assembly Bill 1745, the Clean Cars 2040 Act, introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, on Wednesday.

Though the bill has a long road ahead, if approved, it would require all passenger vehicles sold after Jan. 1, 2040 to be a “zero emissions” vehicle.

“It’s time that we clear the path for emissions-free transportation and take significant steps to achieve our ambitious emissions reduction goals,” said Ting, in a statement. “We’re at an inflection point: we’ve got to address the harmful emissions that cause climate change.”

In a statement, Ting cited Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal for California to see 1.5 million zero emissions vehicles on the road by 2025, as well as California climate change prevention policies projecting a need for 5 million zero emissions vehicles by 2030.

The transportation sector accounts for about 40 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, the bill’s background summary states.

Under the bill’s definition of zero emissions vehicles, vehicles sold in California cannot produce exhaust emissions “of any criteria pollutant or greenhouse gas under any operational mode or condition,” excepting air conditioning systems, according to a statement from Ting’s office.

The bill would not apply to commercial motor vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds, and people moving to California would be allowed to keep their exhaust-emitting vehicles, according to the bill’s background summary.

The bill has the support of Tom Steyer, the noted billionaire hedge fund manager who recently funded a $20 million ad campaign to impeach President Donald Trump, according to news reports.

“Now more than ever, this legislation is needed to protect Californians’ health, create good-paying clean energy jobs, and reinforce our state’s role as a global climate leader,” Steyer said in a statement. He is also president of NextGen America, an advocacy group against climate change.

The bill also received accolades from Earthjustice staff attorney Adrian Martinez, who urged state leaders to pass the legislation, and Eddie Ahn, executive director of Brightline Defense, an environmental group, who said the bill would provide a “tremendous opportunity” to decrease air pollution.

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