Virginia Republicans are vowing to fight vehicle emissions rules that would turn the commonwealth into California.
Due to legislation passed when Virginia was dominated by Democrats, the commonwealth is on its way to following California’s footsteps in banning the sale of new gas vehicles by 2035.
California has a special Clean Air Act waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency allowing it to set vehicle emissions standards that are stricter than the federal government’s. The Virginia legislation, passed in 2021, adopts these standards.
Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin said he’s “already at work to prevent this ridiculous edict from being forced on Virginians” because “California’s out of touch laws have no place in our Commonwealth.”
House Speaker Todd Gilbert said Republicans are going to advance legislation in 2023 to “put Virginians back in charge” but Democrats control the state Senate by one vote.
“Virginia is not, and should not be, California,” Gilbert added.
Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears questioned on “Fox & Friends First” that if Virginia is going to just rubber stamp what California does, what’s the point of a legislature or governor? She was confident that they’d be able to “get rid of this thing.”
"We're going to try and repeal this law because we have to. We didn't get any opportunity to have any say in what California is doing," she said. "They decided, just last Thursday, that by 2035, there will be no gas-powered vehicles sold in California. That's good for them, except that we had the previous Democrat legislature and governor hitch us to whatever California does."
She continued: "We're going to get rid of this thing, and we hope that we can get at least a few sensible Democrat legislators to say, 'not here, not in Virginia.'"