From WHYY: Delaware GOP seeks to strip environmental chief of power to mandate electric vehicles by 2035

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While Delaware Environmental Secretary Shawn Garvin mulls whether to implement his agency’s proposed mandate that all new cars delivered to dealerships by 2035 are electric, Republican lawmakers are eyeing legislative ways to strip him of that power.

Two bills that have been drafted but not yet introduced would eliminate the ability of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to independently adopt any regulations aimed at restricting the sale of gas-powered cars, trucks, or SUVs.

The first, from House Minority Leader Michael Ramone, would require General Assembly approval for any such rules. The second, from Senate Minority Whip Brian Pettyjohn, would simply prohibit the environmental secretary from adopting any rules pertaining to the percentage of electric vs. gas-powered vehicles delivered to dealerships.

The issue began percolating last year after Democratic Gov. John Carney announced that Delaware would adopt the Advanced Clean Car II rule as part of Delaware’s regulations under the federal Clean Air Act.

The bills would face an uphill fight, since Democrats far outnumber Republicans, with both chambers seeing a growing number of progressive Democrats. The GOP’s hopes might lie in recent polls indicating that the mandate is unpopular with voters.

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