Virginia, Washington, Massachusetts Could Follow California’s Gas Car Sales Ban

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Following the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopting rules seeking to restrict the sale of new gas cars in the state, Washington, Massachusetts, and Virginia could implement similar measures.

According to CARB’s new rules, zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) should make up 35 percent of new cars sold in California beginning 2026. This number will then rise to 68 percent in 2030 and 100 percent in 2035. California has received a waiver from the federal government that allows it to establish its own air quality standards that are more stringent than national standards.

States like Massachusetts, Washington, and Virginia already have trigger laws in place to restrict the sale of new gas cars if California passes such a rule.

“This is a critical milestone in our climate fight. Washington set in law a goal for all new car sales to be zero emissions by 2030 and we’re ready to adopt California’s regs by end of this year,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in an Aug. 24 Twitter post.

On Aug. 11, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a clean energy and offshore wind bill containing a provision that if California banned the sale of new fossil fuel cars, then the state would follow suit.

In a statement to Fox, a spokesperson for Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office said that the state’s former Gov. Ralph Northam and “far-left controlled General Assembly” had signed a law in 2021 that binds Virginia to California’s vehicle emission regulations.

“The Attorney General is hopeful that the General Assembly repeals this law and discontinues any trend that makes Virginia more like California. Unelected California bureaucrats should not be dictating the will of Virginians,” the spokesperson said.

Fundamental Criticism

In an Aug. 25 press release from the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, CEO John Bozzella pointed out that the push for supplanting fossil fuel vehicles with electric vehicles first requires fulfilling other basic requirements that will determine the success of such a plan.

By Naveen Athrappully

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