Editor: Can significant steps to mitigate climate change can be made in Virginia without any fiscal impact? Can Virginians breathe cleaner air at no personal cost? Can 3,000 premature deaths, 230,000 child asthma attacks, 110 strokes, and 360,000 lost workdays be reduced with the stroke of a pen? Can 2/3 of Virginia’s largest single source of global warming carbon dioxide be reduced for free? Can consumers enjoy greater choices when making a major purchase? Can consumers save $1,000—$1,300 annually and $11,600-$17,000 over the life of that purchase? Can progress in Environmental Justice be more easily achieved? Can Virginians have easy access to changing consumer markets? Can you believe that the answer to all these very different questions is “Yes?” Well, it is.
In the upcoming session of the Virginia General Assembly, Delegate Bagby and Delegate Sullivan will introduce the Advanced Clean Car Standards legislation that includes two standards beginning with the 2025 Model Year:
1. Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards require car manufacturers to limit the average emissions from the fleet of cars they sell; this emission standard will become more stringent over time.
2. Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Standards require car manufacturers to sell a certain percentage of EVs or buy credits from other manufacturers who sell EVs in Virginia; this percentage will increase over time.
This legislation will:
· empower Virginia auto dealers to compete with out-of-state dealers by receiving enough EVs to meet demand. When my husband and I bought our Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, we had to wait for a car to be sent from Maryland.
· expand consumer choice. More than half of Virginians would consider buying an EV for their next car. Already in the U.S., there are over 40 EV models available ranging from trucks to SUVs to mini-vans and even Hummers.
· improve public health and, when the transition to EVs is made, save $1.3 billion in health care costs every year.
· combat climate change since 70% of transportation greenhouse gas emissions comes from personal vehicles.
This legislation is directed at auto manufacturers to help make Virginia a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous state. There is no fiscal impact to Virginia or Virginians. Auto dealers can still sell gas powered vehicles.
Please let your Virginia General Assembly legislators know that you support this bill and you want them to as well. Find your legislators at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov.
Natalie Pien, Leesburg