PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — California recently approved a new law that will require all new cars sold in the state to have zero emissions.
Now, the states that follow California’s standards must decide if they, too, will implement that rule.
The move to make all new vehicles electric or hydrogen-powered in California will begin in 2035.
“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.
Seventeen other states that follow California’s standards will have to decide whether to follow the standard or revert to federal emission rules.
“Some states have said we’ll adopt everything that California does, including Virginia,” Higgins said.
Virginia made their decision to follow California’s lead before Republican Governor Glenn Younkin took office, and Younkin vowed to fight the zero emissions rule.
Robert Glicksman, an environmental law professor at George Washington University, says for some states, opting out will be tough.
“It would take adoption by the state legislature and approval by the governor to opt-out,” he said.
Experts say federal emissions rules may eventually catch up to California’s laws, but it’s unlikely to happen by 2035.
Instead, the Biden administration is offering incentives to car manufacturers and consumers. Higgins says the incentives should cause a natural shift to electric vehicles.
“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,” he said.