House Speaker Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) joined with Republican leaders, pledging to get Virginia out of the new California-controlled emissions standards that would ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035.
The policy approved by the California Air Resources Board is the world’s most stringent set of rules for transitioning to electric vehicles. It will require new charging infrastructure and a more robust energy grid, and is likely to reshape the U.S. auto market.
Virginia is among 17 states that have adopted some or all of California’s tailpipe emission standards that are stricter than federal rules. California, the nation’s most populous state, has had the authority to set its own for decades under a waiver from the federal Clean Air Act.
Virginia joined the California-controlled pact during Governor Ralph Northam’s tenure under a woke and Democratic-dominated General Assembly in 2021.
House Republicans are looking to undo the damage:
Republicans in the House of Delegates, who opposed the legislation and now control that chamber, and GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin said Friday they would push to unlink Virginia’s standards.
“House Republicans will advance legislation in 2023 to put Virginians back in charge of Virginia’s auto emission standards and its vehicle marketplace. Virginia is not, and should not be, California,” House Speaker Todd Gilbert said in a statement.
The Virginia General Assembly reconvenes in January 2023, with both the Republican-led House of Delegates and the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate up for grabs in November.