Youngkin To Withdraw Virginia From California’s Extreme Auto Emissions Standards
Glenn Youngkin, governor of Virginia, during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, Paris, France, on Monday, June 19, 2023.
Bloomberg/Contributor via Getty Images

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced this week that he is withdrawing the state from participation in California’s extreme auto emissions standards.

The move from Youngkin comes after Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said that the state was not required to comply with California’s mandates that start next year, which were initiated by the Democrat state’s unelected California Air Resources Board (CARB).

“Once again, Virginia is declaring independence – this time from a misguided electric vehicle mandate imposed by unelected leaders nearly 3,000 miles away from the Commonwealth,” Youngkin said in a press release. “The idea that government should tell people what kind of car they can or can’t purchase is fundamentally wrong. Virginians deserve the freedom to choose which vehicles best fit the needs of their families and businesses. The law is clear, and I am proud to announce Virginians will no longer be forced to live under this out-of-touch policy.”

At an event at a car dealership on Wednesday, Youngkin said that the move was about “celebrating freedom.”

“It’s about celebrating the Virginia promise that you get to come to the commonwealth of Virginia, have an extraordinary life, and make decisions over your life,” he added. “But more importantly, this is about choosing what car you drive.”

State Democrats responded by claiming that Youngkin lifting restrictions on Virginians was a sign that the state had descended into a “dictatorship” and that he didn’t care about the environment.


Miyares said that Virginians were “no longer legally bound to follow the emission standards of California.”

“EV mandates like California’s are unworkable and out of touch with reality, and thankfully the law does not bind us to their regulations,” he added. “California does not control which cars Virginians buy and any thoughts that automobile manufacturers should face millions of dollars in civil penalties rather than allowing our citizens to choose their own vehicles is completely absurd.”

Virginia’s pushback against electric vehicle standards comes as the industry has been on a down swing for a long time now as consumer demand has plummeted for a variety of reasons.

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