A law that Gov. Cuomo is expected to sign means the end of gas-powered ATVs and off-road vehicles in New York.

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A bill from State Senator Pete Harckham and State Assemblyman Steve Englebright requiring all in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks to be zero-emission by 2035 has been approved by the State Legislature.

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The bill also includes a stipulation that sales of off-road vehicles and power equipment will also be expected to be zero emissions by 2035.

“Thanks to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York envisions a not-too-distant future where electric vehicles dominate our roads,” Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Sen. Todd Kaminsky stated. “The challenge of transforming our transportation sector is imperative to combating climate change—and this bill is exactly the bold, aggressive and necessary action required to help us meet those goals, reduce our carbon footprint and ultimately save our planet.”

This means New York is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature away from a zero-emissions future on its roadways. Cuomo is reviewing the bill and reportedly supports it.

A further stipulation of the bill is that all in-state sales of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks be zero emissions by 2045.

“Requiring vehicles to be entirely free of carbon and other toxic emissions is the best way to ramp up our fight against climate change,” Harckham said. “We need to take decisive action right now, and I am heartened that a number of other states have realized this as well. Together, we can make a difference, but it is going to take an all-out initiative to save our planet, and this is how New York and other states can impact the environment.”

Building on the landmark New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act passed in 2019, the new legislation is similar to recent mandates issued in California regarding zero-emission vehicles to fight air pollution and increased production of greenhouse gases. To date, only California has adopted a zero-emission law for vehicles.

The new laws are causing automakers to ramp up the development of fully electric and hybrid-powered vehicles.

New York’s CLCPA contains climate targets that are among the most stringent nationally. To reach the goal of an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it is necessary to aggressively pursue benchmarks that will reduce emissions from personal motor vehicles, officials say.

Personal transportation accounts for roughly 20 percent of American’s greenhouse gas emissions. By eliminating this as a source of emissions, New York will be one step closer to meeting its climate change goals, officials say.

“We need to take aggressive action and end carbon pollution to successfully combat the climate crisis,” Englebright said. “Transitioning to zero-emission vehicles in New York will definitely help reduce the dangerous pollutants that are harming our environment and causing myriad health problems for our residents. Also, building cleaner cars will mean more new manufacturing and service jobs across the country.”

Harckham and Englebright hope the change-over in-state sales to zero-emission vehicles could take place sooner than 2035.

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