Virginia Exits the California EV Way

Youngkin frees his state from Gavin Newsom’s gas-powered car ban.

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to spread his anti-fossil fuel gospel far beyond California, but last week he lost a follower. Virginia canceled its plan to adopt West Coast vehicle standards, offering drivers freedom instead of climate dogma.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin said his state won’t phase out sales of gas-powered vehicles, despite a 2021 law that might have set Virginia on course to ban them by 2035, as California will. “The idea that government should tell people what kind of car they can or can’t purchase is fundamentally wrong,” he said.

He’s changing policy set by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who signed a bill letting Virginia impose regulations set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The Biden Administration opened the door by letting the Golden State set stricter rules than those set by the Environmental Protection Agency, and Virginia was one of several states to follow California.

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