Statement: Gov. Newsom’s climate-focused executive order is a victory for the environment

Media Statements

Media Contacts
Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Commitment to phase out gas-powered cars will help to combat global warming

CALPIRG, Environment California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday morning an executive order requiring all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. With this executive order, California becomes the first state in the country to set a sales ban on gas-powered cars. The transportation sector in California accounts for more than 50 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. According to Gov. Newsom, this action will result in a “35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80 percent improvement in oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars statewide.”

The order also addresses the trucking industry by phasing out the sale of gas-powered medium and heavy duty vehicles by 2045. 

The governor also called on the legislature to end issuing new fracking permits by 2024.

Dan Jacobson, Environment California state director, issued the following statement in response:

“Once again, California has taken the driver’s seat when it comes to cleaning up our cars and trucks and is paving the way for other states to follow. Even as our state’s leadership is under attack due to rollback attempts from the Trump Administration, it deserves tremendous credit for continuing to be a leader on clean cars — just like it has been for decades.

“Californians have long embraced climate action, but with this year’s record-breaking wildfires, hazardous air quality and some of the hottest temperatures on record, it’s become increasingly clear we need to do more. This executive order shows the governor gets this.

“We applaud Gov. Newsom’s actions today, but we urge him to keep his foot on the accelerator on the road to comprehensive clean energy. More must be done to keep Californians safe from oil drilling and there must be a plan to phase out our addiction to fossil fuels. And, California must move up its timeline to fully transition to clean electricity by meeting its 100 percent renewable energy commitment by 2030. We also need to look at decarbonizing our buildings.”

Read Dan Jacobson’s recent op-ed: Five solutions to California’s climate crisis Gov. Newsom should implement … right now

Read Environment California Research and Policy Center’s report Destination Zero Carbon


Emily Rusch, CALPIRG executive director, issued the following statement: 

“Gas-powered cars are a major source of air pollution that create toxic smog and threaten public health. We cannot address climate change without phasing out oil-powered transportation, and we applaud Gov. Newsom for embracing the promise of clean transportation.

“As his executive order acknowledges, we also need to embrace alternative transportation options, including investing in more transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Transforming transportation will enable Californians to drive less and live more. With that in mind, we are calling for doubling the public transportation trips by 2030 and doubling biking and walking trips by 2030.”

Read more about CALPIRG’s campaign: Transform Transportation


Environment California works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment California is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups. For more information about Environment California visit:

CALPIRG (Public Interest Research Group) Education Fund is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful interests that threaten our health, safety, and wellbeing. For more information on CALPIRG visit

Environment California and CALPIRG are part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.