Glenn Youngkin Vows to Fight Virginia Law Tying State to California’s Gas-Vehicle Ban

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin recently vowed to fight back against a state law that would require Virginia to follow California’s implementation of new plan to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.

The California Air Resources Board voted unanimously last week to adopt the new rule, which would mandate that 100 percent of all new cars sold in California by 2035 must be zero-emission. The plan would set a target of 35 percent of new passenger vehicles sold in the state by 2026 being zero-emission. By 2030, that target would increase to 68 percent.

Under a 2021 Virginia law signed by former Governor Ralph Northam, the state must adopt California’s emissions regulations.

“In an effort to turn Virginia into California, liberal politicians who previously ran our government sold Virginia out by subjecting Virginia drivers to California vehicle laws. Now, under that pact, Virginians will be forced to adopt the California law that prohibits the sale of gas and diesel-fueled vehicles,”  Youngkin said in a statement. “I am already at work to prevent this ridiculous edict from being forced on Virginians. California’s out-of-touch laws have no place in our Commonwealth.”

Virginia house speaker Todd Gilbert said the Republican-controlled chamber plans to take up legislation next year to “put Virginians back in charge of Virginia’s auto emission standards and its vehicle marketplace.”

“Virginia is not and should not be California,” Gilbert said, according to the Washington Times.

However, such a measure may face difficulty in the Democrat-controlled state senate.

While several countries have set goals to phase out the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles between 2030 and 2040 — including Canada, Britain, France and Spain – none have strict mandates or regulations as seen in the California proposal.

The Biden administration paved the way for the California Air Resources Board to issue the first-of-its-kind policy by restoring a Clean Air Act waiver that granted the state the legal authority to adopt auto pollution and mileage rules that are more strict than federal standards. The waiver had been blocked under the Trump administration.

However, 17 Republican-led states have challenged the California waiver in court. If the lawsuit is successful, the new policy would be undone.

At least 12 other states could adopt a similar policy soon, while another five states are expected to adopt the rule in a year or so, according to the New York Times.

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