2022 ALL STAR | ENVIRONMENTAL
Chair, California Air Resources Board
When California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order in 2020 to ban in-state sales of nearly all new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks by 2035, Liane Randolph was handed the task of carrying out the mandate by setting a firm timeline.
Randolph, 57, was appointed chair of the California Air Resources Board in December 2020, succeeding longtime environmental advocate Mary Nichols, who retired from the board that year.
Under Randolph’s leadership, the clean-air board approved rules in August that define an annual — and increasingly stringent — road map so that by 2035 100 percent of new cars, crossovers, SUVs, vans and pickups sold in California are zero emission. The rules require automakers to steadily increase their sales of ZEVs, including plug-in hybrids, in California, beginning with the 2026 model year.
By 2035, the board says there will be 9.5 million fewer gasoline-powered vehicles sold in California and, by 2040, greenhouse gas emissions from light vehicles will be cut in half.
The rules also are more aggressive than President Joe Biden’s nonbinding target to reach 50 percent new ZEV sales by the end of the decade. In California — the nation’s largest auto market — ZEVs will need to make up 68 percent of new-vehicle sales by 2030 under the new regulations.
The rules could affect roughly 40 percent of new-vehicle sales in the U.S. if states that follow California’s vehicle-emission rules choose to adopt the new, more stringent ones.