Virginia To Throw Out California’s Emissions Rules

Virginia To Throw Out California's Emissions Rules

( РOne of California’s policies calls for stricter emissions standards, including a zero-emissions vehicle mandate that requires automakers to sell more low- (LEV) and zero-emitting vehicles (ZEV). Following behind California, several states adopted those standards, including Virginia. However, Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin is ready to toss those emission standards out.

In a statement released on June 5, Youngkin and Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced that as of January 1, 2025, Virginia will no longer comply with the “expansive new mandates adopted by the unelected California Air Resources Board (CARB).” Youngkin said the commonwealth “is declaring independence” because the government having a say in what kind of vehicle Americans can purchase “is fundamentally wrong.”

Miyares also commented and said he issued an Attorney General Opinion confirming that the state’s residents “are no longer legally bound to follow the emissions standards” set by California. As of the end of the year, the state will revert to the federal standards instead.

Virginia is currently one of the Section 177 states, which consists of 17 states and DC that have agreed to adopt California’s standards. At the time, it was under Democratic control. The “clean cars” law mandated that dealers in the state should sell a specific number of hybrid or fully electric vehicles beginning this year.

State Senator Ryan McDougle (R) co-signed the legislation to repeal CARB’s mandate. He championed the concepts that Virginia laws “should be decided by Virginians” elected to serve the state and that the laws should address Virginia’s issues, not piggyback on those of states across the country.

The announcement met with backlash from some Democrats, including state Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell, who compared Youngkin to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Environmental groups, including the Southern Environmental Law Center, also spoke out against the move.

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