SEMA Commends Virginia's Reversal of Adopting California Emission Standards

June 6, 2024
Though a law adopting the standards was passed under the previous governor, his successor has decided to change that.

Virginia has become the first state to back out of California’s emission standards, prompting recognition from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) in a recent press release.

Yesterday, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the state Commonwealth would not go through with adopting California’s emission standards, which would prevent the sale of new gas and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035.

In 2021, state lawmakers passed a law saying Virginia would abide by California’s emission standards under previous Governor Ralph Northam. Upon being elected as Northam’s successor later that year, Youngkin condemned the decision during his 2023 State of the Commonwealth address.

Seventeen states have agreed to California’s emission standards, and many have opposed them–but Virginia is the first state to reverse its decision on adopting them. With SEMA having pushed for laws in nine states that would prevent stricter emission standards being enforced, the organization’s President and CEO Mike Spagnola commended the move from Virginia.

“We applaud Governor Youngkin for this bold action that rejects the notion that California should determine policies for nearly half of American consumers. We urge other states to follow Virginia’s lead,” said Spagnola.

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