Louisiana Bills Would Prevent State Gas-Powered Vehicle Ban

One bill is expected to be taken up soon by a House committee.


Combustion engine vehicles will continue to be available for sale in Louisiana, pending two bills in the House of Representatives.

One was deferred March 14 and the other is expected to be taken up soon by the chamber's Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee.

State Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Haughton, authored House Bill 515. The bill would prohibit any state agency from placing limits or a prohibition on the sale or use of new vehicles with internal combustion engines.

The bill would also mandate that any air quality challenges related to the Louisiana Air Pollutant Emission Control Program can't restrict a state resident to purchase any vehicle.

Horton told the committee she would rather support House Bill 341 by state Rep. Phillip Tarver, a Lake Charles Republican who owns a Toyota dealership, because she said "he's a subject matter expert."

Tarver's bill is nearly identical in its language to Horton's bill.

The committee also approved a bill that allows property owners to only charge unpaid parking fees to vehicles they boot and another measure that would remove the 10-year cap on leases at Louisiana airports.

Both measures are headed to the House floor for a potential vote.

The Louisiana bills designed to prevent a state internal combustion vehicle ban come as the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a draft regulation in July that increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy to 58 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks by 2032, requiring automakers to sell more hybrid gasoline/electric and battery electric vehicles to meet the new standards. That's an 18.4% increase from the 49 miles per gallon standard that will fully go into effect by 2026. 

Automakers that aren't compliant with the standard are forced to buy credits from those in compliance, such as Tesla, to make up for the disparity. For example, according to the most recent annual financial statement from Tesla, so-called regulatory credits accounted for $1.79 billion in 2023, up 21% from the year prior.

According to a U.S. Department of Energy update through 2022 -- the latest numbers available -- Louisiana has more than 3.1 million gas-powered vehicles and more than 115,000 using diesel. The combined total of electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hybrid-electric at the time was 40,200.

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