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Youngkin Vows to Fight 'Ludicrous Law' That Ties Virginia's Emission Standards to California's

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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) is vowing to undo a law that tied the state’s emission standards to California’s.

At issue is a law that links Virginia’s emission standards to those of the California Air Resources Board — which recently announced a new rule that would prohibit the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

Youngkin’s predecessor, Ralph Northam (D), signed the legislation in 2021.

During an appearance on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Youngkin argued the previous administration was attempting to “turn Virginia into California.”

“Little did [voters] know that they had signed legislation and tied Virginia to decisions that are going to be made in California,” he continued.

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He accused Northam and the state Democratic lawmakers for abdicating their “responsibility to serve Virginians.”

“We find ourselves today with this ludicrous law that Virginia has to follow California’s laws, and so we’re going to go to work and stop this,” Youngkin said. “Because Virginians should be decisions for Virginians. And that’s why I was elected governor, to stop a government that was very comfortable telling people what to do all the time and forgetting that we’re here, in fact, to make our own decisions. Freedom, in fact, matters in Virginia.”

Watch the video below:

After pointing out that electric vehicles made just 2% of the car sales in Virginia last year, Youngkin vowed to “go to work and make sure we get this turned around” during the legislative session, which starts in January.

As the Virginia Mercury notes, states can choose to follow the federal government’s emission standards or California’s.

Other states can obtain waivers to set their own standards. But California is the only state that has received a waiver under the Clean Air Act to set its own emission standards — as long as they are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

It doesn’t seem fair that other states have not been granted such waivers. But at least they are not required to follow California’s stricter standards.

Without getting too much into the merits of getting rid of gas-powered cars, the Democrats’ decision was a bizarre choice. Why, when the state is not the most liberal one in the country, would you choose to follow the stricter standard and foist that upon your residents?

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Virginia’s lawmakers may not have necessarily known or thought that California was going to decide to prohibit the sale of gas-powered cars in 13 years when they passed the legislation.

But deciding to follow the decisions of California, which is making strict standards specific to its situation, is crazy. Yes, applying the one-size fits all approach of the federal government isn’t really that much better either. But at least the federal government’s standards aren’t quite as dramatic.

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