Youngkin’s Assault on Virginia’s Automobiles Regulation Threatens Local weather Progress


With the specter of local weather change to Virginia’s coast and inland communities, it’s becoming that the Commonwealth is the main southern state in slashing its carbon emissions.

Along with needing to include the hazards of now frequently excessive climate, local weather motion is an financial crucial, one fiscal conservatives ought to embrace: Virginia’s coastal actual property alone will see $6 billion in local weather harm — yearly — from unchecked emissions. And Virginians agree on taking motion: local weather change is the second-biggest concern amongst unbiased voters.

But, relatively than discover widespread trigger in tackling a problem that each imperils and unites Virginians, Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) solely assaults local weather progress, all whereas providing zero options of his personal.

Youngkin’s newest damaging salvo is his name to repeal a keystone local weather regulation: Virginia’s Clear Automobiles initiative. That 18-state strategy is easy: it reduces emissions by regularly shifting states away from higher-cost, polluting vehicles fueled by costly petroleum, over to cleaner vehicles fueled by lower-cost electrical energy (electrical automobiles, or EVs).

Youngkin’s anti-climate allies have obliged his assault, with almost 10 repeal payments filed within the legislative session underway in Richmond. Youngkin himself even personally thwarted Virginia’s first EV manufacturing unit — Ford’s, no much less — from finding in rural Virginia, even whereas each neighboring state has already landed two EV factories apiece, considered one of which would be the largest auto manufacturing unit in American historical past.

Youngkin’s antagonism is simply useless flawed: not solely is the Clear Automobiles regulation itself widespread, Youngkin is willfully ignoring the truth of the worldwide auto market, to not point out the large financial and well being enhancements the regulation will ship to Virginians. As such, his assault is not going to succeed.

First, the Clear Automobiles regulation is Virginia’s most important local weather motion up to now: exhaust-belching tailpipes are Virginia’s single-largest carbon polluter. And below the federal Clear Air Act, Clear Automobiles is the one device the Commonwealth can use to train its sovereign prerogative to handle its largest supply of air air pollution.

Clear Automobiles can be sensible. Along with being Virginia’s sole auto-pollution discount device permitted to states by federal regulation, it harnesses a large, irreversible shift underway throughout the worldwide auto market.

Carmakers are locked in a world expertise arms race, to seize market share of what is going to quickly be the one automotive sport on the town: electrical. That race to go all-electric is an imminent expertise tipping level, akin to the change from landlines to smartphones a era in the past.

Main automakers are proof the EV tipping level is right here: within the subsequent two years, 1 in 3 automotive fashions shall be all-electric. And in simply over a decade, most automakers — be it Chevy, Volvo, Audi, Buick — shall be all-electric. You learn accurately: by 2035 or sooner, GM and lots of, many others may have solely ceased the manufacturing of even a single gas-powered automobile.

The Clear Automobiles regulation merely ensures Virginians profit sooner, not later, from this tectonic market shift. That shall be a boon for households: EVs — purchased used or new — liberate drivers from ache on the pump. Filling the tank with electrical energy induces reverse-sticker shock (and pleasure): it prices a mere third of what filling up with gasoline prices in the present day.

And even with out the $7,500 federal rebate for qualifying EVs, by 2028, the on-the-lot, upfront sticker worth of recent EVs will seemingly be the identical as gas-powered vehicles. From then on, any automotive purchaser can be financially suicidal to drive a gas-powered automobile off the lot.

But, none of those bedrock information matter to Youngkin. His presidential ambitions dictate {that a} cynical, “simply say no” local weather nihilism serves his personal political pursuits, relatively than searching for options that profit his precise constituents — on a regular basis Virginians.

However information do matter in Richmond, particularly to legislators on the wheel of accountable governance.

Accordingly, Virginians can relaxation assured that, regardless of Youngkin’s naysaying assaults on Virginia’s local weather legal guidelines, the Commonwealth will proceed the drive to a cleaner, more cost effective, and safer future.

By Walton Shepherd

This op-ed was initially printed within the Virginian-Pilot.

Courtesy of NRDC (Pure Sources Protection Council).





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