Louisiana House considers two bills to block state gas-powered vehicle ban

Combustion engine vehicles will still be available for sale in Louisiana, as two bills in the House of Representatives are currently under consideration.

One bill was deferred on Thursday, while the committee is expected to discuss the other bill next week. The Transportation, Highways, and Public Works Committee will be responsible for reviewing the latter.

State Representative Dodie Horton, a Republican from Haughton, is the author of House Bill 515. This bill aims to prevent state agencies from implementing any restrictions or bans on the sale or usage of new vehicles that are powered by internal combustion engines.

The Louisiana Air Pollutant Emission Control Program cannot restrict a resident of the state from purchasing a vehicle, according to the bill. This measure aims to address any air quality issues associated with the program.

During her testimony, Horton expressed her preference for backing House Bill 341, which was proposed by state Rep. Phillip Tarver, a Lake Charles Republican and owner of a Toyota dealership. She explained that she considered Tarver to be a subject matter expert in this area.

Tarver’s bill closely mirrors Horton’s bill in its wording.

The committee approved a bill that grants property owners the authority to solely charge unpaid parking fees to vehicles that they immobilize. Additionally, another measure was passed that would eliminate the 10-year limit on leases at Louisiana airports.

The House floor is set to potentially vote on both measures.

The Louisiana bills aim to counter the possibility of a state-wide ban on internal combustion vehicles. These bills come at a time when the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed a draft regulation in July. This regulation seeks to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy to 58 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks by 2032. Automakers will be required to sell more hybrid gasoline/electric and battery electric vehicles in order to comply with the new standards. This represents an 18.4% increase from the current 49 miles per gallon standard, which will be fully implemented by 2026.

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Automakers who do not meet the standard are obligated to purchase credits from compliant manufacturers like Tesla as a means to compensate for the difference. As per Tesla’s latest annual financial statement, regulatory credits made up $1.79 billion in 2023, reflecting a 21% increase from the previous year.

According to the latest update from the U.S. Department of Energy through 2022, Louisiana is home to over 3.1 million gas-powered vehicles and over 115,000 diesel vehicles. As for alternative fuel vehicles, the combined total of electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hybrid-electric vehicles was 40,200 at that time.

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