It’s Friday, January 29, and General Motors is trying to make its gas-powered cars a thing of the past.
General Motors, which sells roughly 8 million vehicles around the world every year, is aspiring to end all sales of light-duty gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles, including pickups and SUVs, by 2035. This target is part of the company’s wider pledge to become carbon-neutral by 2040, GM announced Thursday.
Over the next five years, the company plans to invest $27 billion in hopes of offering 30 all-electric models globally by mid-decade. GM also expects that 40 percent of its U.S. models will be electric by 2025. The company hopes that this will drastically reduce its emissions, given that tailpipe emissions account for 75 percent of GM’s carbon footprint. To address its remaining emissions, the company is committing to source 100 percent renewable energy to cover its operational power needs by 2035 and to offset the rest with carbon credits.
These goals come at a time when President Joe Biden has called for policies that will expand electric vehicle use across the country, namely by replacing the federal government’s 645,000-deep vehicle fleet with “clean electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers.” The consumer market for electric cars is already surging, with worldwide sales of electric vehicles growing by an estimated 40 percent last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a drop in overall vehicle sales.
Numbers released by the Biden administration show that the Bureau of Land Management lost more than 87 percent of employees during a Trump administration relocation of the federal agency’s headquarters. Trump decided to move hundreds of employees from Washington, D.C., to a new office in Grand Junction, Colorado, and other offices across the West in July 2019. Of the 328 employees slated for relocation, 287 left the agency.
Republican members of Congress are introducing legislation that would undo Biden’s executive order banning oil and gas leasing on federal lands. House Republicans have introduced three separate bills trying to undermine Biden’s executive action. The bills have no possibility of becoming law, given that Republicans are a minority in both Congressional chambers.
A state legislative office found that the time it took for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to enforce pollution violations doubled between 2015 and 2019. In some cases, according to the audit, it took as long as nine years for a company to pay a fine or finalize a settlement after being cited for an infraction.