A recently enacted California law mandates that 35% of new cars and light-duty vehicle sales be zero-emission versions by 2026 and 100% by 2035.
With a significant modification to its Advanced Clean Cars program, the California Air Resources Board has established new requirements for zero-emission vehicles that other states follow. These states can adopt California’s standards in place of federal requirements under Section 177 of the Clean Air Act.
“California has been the state that’s been leading the charge on fighting climate change and for good reason because they’re facing a lot of the brunt of climate change,” said Trevor Higgins from the Center for American Progress.
Now, the seventeen states that follow California’s standards will decide whether to adhere to the standard or return to federal emission regulations, as reported by Fox56.
“Some states have said we’ll adopt everything that California does, including Virginia,” Higgins said.
It is worth noting that before Republican Governor Glenn Younkin assumed office, Virginia had already decided to follow California’s path. However, Younkin pledged to oppose the zero emissions rule.
According to George Washington University professor of environmental law Robert Glicksman, it will be difficult for certain states to opt-out. “It would take adoption by the state legislature and approval by the governor to opt-out,” he said.
Even though federal emissions regulations may gradually keep pace with California’s standards, it would still be unrealistic to happen before 2035 as explained by experts in the sector.
In an effort to boost the electric vehicle uptake, the Biden administration has been giving customers and automakers incentives.
“They’re fun to drive, they are affordable, they help the grid to be more resilient, they let you charge your own house if the grid will be able to fail,” Higgins said, noting the benefits of shifting to electric vehicles.
All things considered, this recently enacted standard could be a significant advancement in the struggle for climate justice due to emissions from diesel-powered automobiles that have been damaging the environment.