Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) hopes for GOP victories in the state legislature in the 2023 election as he eyes a path to end Virginia’s electric vehicle (EV) mandate.
Under Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, Virginia joined 16 other states in adhering to California’s air quality standards designed to push EV sales while ending the sale of new gas-powered vehicles. A spokeswoman for Youngkin said Monday that the mandate “defies common sense” and has had poor results in California, The Washington Examiner reported.
“It defies common sense that Democrats in Virginia have continued to outsource decision-making on energy policy,” Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter told the Examiner. “California’s requirements for their citizens should not be a one-size-fits-all solution for Virginia.”
Virginia Democrats blocked an attempt to end the mandate in January as the party retains control of the state Senate, but Republicans, who hold a majority in the state House, look to take control of the state Senate in the state elections in November. Every seat in the state legislature is up for re-election as Republicans hope to continue the momentum the party gained from the 2021 election when it gained control of the lower chamber and the executive branch.
Youngkin’s offices slammed state Democrats for keeping the EV mandate in place which was decided by unelected officials in California.
“In a partisan fashion, Virginia’s Democrats blocked Gov. Youngkin’s legislative proposal this year to remove Virginia from the California model,” Porter said. “Their actions have allowed Virginia to be hostage to the extreme policies of unelected bureaucrats in California. We have seen the results of the poor energy planning in California, and we will work to ensure that is not the energy future for Virginia.”
The air quality rules put in place by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will go into effect at incremental levels in 2026 before building to a 100% ban of new gas car sales in 2035. The ban was proposed by CARB last year to achieve Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s goal of reducing emissions by eliminating the sale of new gas cars by 2035. Seventeen states, including Virginia, adopted the CARB emissions rules, implementing standards set by a board of bureaucrats in California in jurisdictions from New Mexico and Nevada to as far east as New York and Maine.
In January, Youngkin decried the California board making decisions for people in Virginia.
“What the previous administration did was outsourced it to California to bureaucrats that aren’t even elected by Virginians to dictate whether we buy cars that are powered by electricity or by fossil fuels,” Youngkin said. “This should be a decision taken by Virginians.”
The Republican governor in January also stopped a potential Ford EV battery plant from opening up in his state over its connection to the Chinese Communist Party. Youngkin refused to consider the Ford plant, which would have been operated in partnership with Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology, saying, the Chinese-owned company would “try to tap into taxpayer benefits at the state level as well as the federal level that were specifically designated for non-Chinese communist party entities.”