Youngkin Withdraws From California’s Auto Standard

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced this week that the state will withdraw from California’s stringent auto emissions standards. This decision follows a statement from Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares asserting that Virginia is not obligated to adhere to California’s mandates, which are set to begin next year. These mandates were instituted by the unelected California Air Resources Board (CARB).

In a press release, Youngkin emphasized Virginia’s independence from what he described as California’s misguided electric vehicle mandate. “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 stated.

He criticized the idea of the government dictating the types of cars people can buy as fundamentally wrong. According to Youngkin, Virginians should have the freedom to choose vehicles that best meet 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,” he added.

At a celebratory event at a car dealership on Wednesday, Youngkin further elaborated on the move, describing it as a celebration of 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 said. “But more importantly, this is about choosing what car you drive.”

However, this decision has sparked a significant backlash from state Democrats. They argued that by lifting these restrictions, Youngkin was showing a disregard for environmental concerns and pushing Virginia toward a dictatorship.

In response, Miyares reiterated that Virginians are no longer legally bound to follow California’s emission standards. He labeled California’s EV mandates as impractical and disconnected from reality, praising the fact that the law does not obligate Virginia to comply with these regulations.

“EV mandates like California’s are unworkable and out of touch with reality, and thankfully the law does not bind us to their regulations,” Miyares said. “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 decision to reject California’s electric vehicle standards comes at a time when the electric vehicle industry is facing challenges. Consumer demand for electric vehicles has been declining due to various factors, and this move highlights Virginia's stance on allowing more flexibility and choice in the automotive market.

As the debate continues, the focus remains on balancing environmental concerns with individual freedoms and practical considerations in the evolving landscape of the automotive industry.

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