Virginia governor plans to repeal gas vehicle phaseout

Politics

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In a statement posted on his Twitter account, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced that he is already working to repeal a law that would ban the sale of new gas and diesel-powered cars in Virginia by 2035.

Virginia is currently in an agreement to follow California’s emissions standards as part of a bill passed in 2021 under former Gov. Ralph Northam, according to the Associated Press.

On Friday, Youngkin announced on Twitter that he was already working to detach Virginia from this requirement.

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 has and diesel-fueled vehicles. 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.

Governor Glenn Youngkin

On Thursday, the California Resources Board put the state on track to completely phase out new vehicles not powered by hydrogen or electricity by 2035.

According to the Associated Press, 17 states have adopted some or all of California’s strict emissions standards, and Washington and Massachusetts legislators have said they will also follow California’s lead. Canada has already passed a law that would mandate the sale of emission-free cars by 2035 and members of the European Parliament recently endorsed a plan to do the same.

While Youngkin delined NewsNation’s interview request, he doubled down on the move in a statement.

California’s new regulations will still allow drivers to use existing gas cars and buy used ones but the sale of new gas vehicles will be phased out and then banned by 2035 — their replacement being electric, hydrogen and hybrid cars.

Democratic lawmakers in Virginia, including delegate Lamont Bagby, say the state needs to be a leader in the transition to carbon-free vehicles.

“We can’t go backward. We can’t have Virginia looking like the Flintstones and neighboring states looking like the Jetsons,” Bagby said Monday in an interview with NewsNation.

But Youngkin isn’t the only Republican who wants to hit reverse on Virginia’s new law. Delegate Rob Bloxom says the state’s infrastructure just isn’t ready for a surge in electric cars.

“It’s just going to be impossible for us to meet those standards this year,” Bloxom told NewsNation’s ‘Rush Hour.” The costs, he said, would be prohibitive.

But the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association says many of their manufacturers are already planning to go all electric by 2035 or even sooner.

State data shows that less than 3% of car registrations are for hybrid and electric vehicles right now.

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