Your Governor Is Powerless Against Gruesome Gavin's California Emissions Regime, Virginia

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage (Getty Images)
Photo: Elijah Nouvelage (Getty Images)

Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin has a problem. He’s an ardent defender of diversity, you see, but he runs a state that’s bound to totalitarian California emissions standards — including the upcoming internal combustion vehicle ban. Youngkin is trapped enforcing a mandate that reduces the diversity of cars on the road, removing the entire class of ICE vehicles, unless he can wriggle out of it.

So, that’s what he’s now done. Youngkin asked his Attorney General whether he really had to do the whole “California emissions” thing, and Attorney General Jason Miyares replied that the governor is under no such obligation. This is despite the CARB affiliation being a matter for the state legislature, who are, predictably, not happy. Perhaps most interesting is Youngkin’s secessionist framing of the move, per his official website:

“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,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.


Yeah, bud? How’d that independence work out for you last time? The AP spoke with other members of Virginia government, as well as environmental law experts, who aren’t quite as thrilled — or convinced the move is even legally possible:

“He seems to think he has more power than Vladimir Putin,” Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell said via text message. “The governor is breaking the law and the AG is giving him cover.”

The Southern Environmental Law Center called the decision “illegal, shortsighted, and bad public policy.”

“The Clean Cars standards will help spur the transition to cleaner vehicles and bring significant health and environmental benefits to all Virginians. That is why the General Assembly adopted them,” Trip Pollard, a senior attorney with the center, said in a statement.

“The Governor tried to get the legislature to repeal the law and failed; he cannot just dictate a different outcome,” Pollard said.

Well, I’m sure this will end up as a fun 6-3 Court decision someday, which will have no ramifications for the roles of the legislature and the judiciary in government. I sure am glad history is over.

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