Virginia Forced To Comply With California’s Ban On New Gas Cars

Virginia Forced To Comply With California’s Ban On New Gas Cars

The Commonwealth of Virginia will be forced to comply with California regulations that lead to the ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.

Rules from the California Air Resources Board require 35% of new vehicles to produce zero emissions by 2026 before rising to a 68% benchmark by 2030 and a 100% level by 2035. The office of Attorney General Jason Miyares (R-VA) confirmed to The Hill on Monday that Virginia is required to follow the guidelines under the terms of a state law passed in 2021.

“The Attorney General is hopeful that the General Assembly repeals this law and discontinues any trend that makes Virginia more like California,” Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita told the outlet in a statement. “Unelected California bureaucrats should not be dictating the will of Virginians.”

Although Republicans took control of the Virginia House of Delegates and elected Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) last year, the Democratic Party still controls the Virginia Senate by a single vote. However, state Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-VA) has been known to break ranks with his colleagues.

Youngkin opposes the legislation and has expressed support for repealing the law — an outcome that would be most probable if Republicans gain control of the Virginia Senate in this year’s elections.

“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,” Youngkin wrote. “Now, under that pact, Virginians will be forced to adopt the California law that prohibits the sale of gas 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.”

Washington and Massachusetts have likewise enacted legislation conforming the states to standards passed by the California Air Resources Board. “This is a critical milestone in our climate fight,” Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) said on social media while expressing support for the new regulations.

On a national level, Democratic officials have been similarly eager to phase out internal combustion vehicles while incentivizing the purchase of electric cars. The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Joe Biden signed earlier this month, greenlit $7,500 tax credits for the purchase of new electric vehicles — even as Ford and GM raised their electric vehicle prices by approximately the same amount.

Biden administration officials have argued that the electric vehicle tax credits — combined with elevated prices at the pump — will accelerate renewable energy adoption in the United States. Gas prices surpassed $5.00 per gallon in early June before subsiding to $3.84 per gallon as of Tuesday, according to AAA.

“The more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicles,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg argued before House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members last month.

However, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk cautioned during a Monday energy summit in Norway that the global economy is not equipped for a rapid transition toward renewable energy. “Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble,” Musk told reporters. “One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy. That will take some decades to complete.”

America