Democratic Ohio Senate nominee Tim Ryan once called for a ban on gas-powered cars and said he believed that Americans are "doing something terribly wrong" by waiting to eliminate the use of gas vehicles.

Ryan, who ran unsuccessfully for president and currently represents the Buckeye State's 13th Congressional District, offered the remarks in a 2019 interview after a Democratic primary presidential debate when he discussed a 2040 deadline to eliminate gas vehicles set by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

"I hope we don't have to wait until 2050. The way things are moving — Senator Sanders and I got into this in the debate a little bit. He was like, banning gas cars in 2040, and in my mind, in all honesty, it's like okay, great, whatever, but if we're waiting for 2040 to get rid of gas vehicles, we're doing something terribly wrong."

Jordan Fuja, a spokesperson for Ryan's Senate campaign, claimed Ryan's 2019 comments were a push to bring jobs back to America and invest in the manufacturing of "affordable electric vehicles" in the state of Ohio.


Tim Ryan

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, attends the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing titled FY2023 Department of Defense, in Rayburn Building on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

"It’s clear that the auto industry is quickly moving toward electric vehicles, and Tim knows that if the United States is to outcompete China, we need to go all-in on creating new job opportunities for Ohio workers by manufacturing affordable electric vehicles and their components right here in Ohio," Fuja said. "While JD Vance has called EV manufacturing a ‘scam’ — a position that puts him at odds with other Ohio Republicans, including Gov. Mike DeWine and Sen. Rob Portman — Tim has fought to bring auto manufacturing supply chains back home, shore up our infrastructure, and prioritize Made in America requirements, while making sure Ohio workers have a pathway to careers in the industries of the future."

"JD Vance continues to write off the future of Ohio’s auto industry, because he either doesn’t know that Ohio workers are on the forefront of this fast-growing field, or because he just doesn’t care," Fuja added.

Responding to Ryan's remarks on eliminating gas vehicles, JD Vance, a venture capitalist and the Republican nominee for Senate in Ohio, told Fox News Digital that Ryan is "radically disconnected" from the needs of Ohioans and insisted that the suggested move from Ryan would impact "thousands of workers" in the state.

"Tim Ryan’s plan to eliminate gas-powered vehicles is radically disconnected from the needs of everyday Ohioans, and is even more extreme than Bernie Sanders’ proposal," Vance said. "This would impoverish thousands of workers in our state, but Tim Ryan is more focused on the fact that it would enrich his liberal donors."

"The working people of Ohio are going to reject his far-left climate insanity come November," Vance added.

JD Vance at CPAC in Dallas, Texas

Ohio Senate GOP nominee JD Vance said Ryan's plan to eliminate gas-powered vehicles is "radically disconnected" from the needs of Ohioans and warned that it will impact "thousands of workers" in the state. (AP )

During a July interview on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton show, Vance insisted there wasn't a climate crisis and called the Democrats' push for electric vehicles a "scam."

Ryan's previous remarks resurfaced amid a brutal heat wave in California that has pushed the state's electricity demands to all-time highs.


California’s power grid operator declared a stage 3 energy emergency alert Tuesday evening, warning that rotating power outages were "very possible" as the heat wave impacted residents in the state. The warning, issued by the California Independent System Operator (ISO), came around 5:45 p.m. local time, and was later ended around 8 p.m. The ISO said energy conservation "played a big part in protecting electric grid reliability."

Some 67,000 Californians were without power Monday evening, according to, while ongoing power outages affected more than 40,000 Pacific Gas and Electric Company customers across 28 counties.

Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently issued a proposal to ban the sale of all gas-powered vehicles in his state by 2035. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Following the electricity emergency in the state, California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom faced criticism on social media over his push to eliminate gas vehicles in the state.


Newsom — who sparked controversy with a proposal to ban sales of gas-powered vehicles in the state by 2035, a proposal that would likely add millions of electric vehicles to the grid — recently encouraged Californians who already own an electric car to avoid charging them to reduce their energy consumption.

Ryan, who was first elected to Congress in 2003, will go head to head with Vance in Ohio's statewide Senate election in November.

Fox News' Bradford Betz and Taylor Penley contributed to this article.