Richmond, VA – Today, in a major leap forward for climate leadership in Virginia, the State Senate voted (21-15) to pass Clean Car Standards (HB 1965). Introduced by Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico), this legislation will implement clean car standards for new vehicles, and Virginia will join the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Program, which will increase the number of electric vehicles (EVs) available in the Commonwealth.
CCAN Action Fund’s Virginia Director Kim Jemaine’s statement on this vote:
“By passing Clean Car Standards, Virginia continues to be a leader on people-focused climate policy. As the single largest source of carbon emissions in the Commonwealth, the transportation sector has historically been a source of environmental injustice. Virginians — especially Black and brown folks — have suffered unnecessarily high rates of cancer, heart disease, and other related illnesses. Today, Virginia joins the ranks of many other forward-looking states, from California to neighboring Maryland, who have implemented the same standards and prioritized people and our planet.
“Today was also a victory for consumer choice. Despite clear consumer demand for electric vehicles, many dealerships in the Commonwealth simply don’t carry them. This means that in previous years Virginians have either had to settle for gas powered cars or travel across state borders to purchase EVs — resulting in lost revenue for Virginia businesses. With the passage of HB 1965, Virginia dealers and consumers will have increased access to a wider array of cleaner cars. This bill’s passage signifies a necessary step toward reducing emissions from the transportation sector. CCAN Action Fund recognizes the work yet to be done and looks forward to working alongside partners and decision makers to continue the work to reduce vehicle miles traveled, change our land use patterns, and provide safe and reliable transit options in coming years.
“We commend Delegate Bagby and the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus for their leadership on this issue. CCAN Action Fund understands the need for immediate action to draw down emissions from major sources in order to promote public health, protect our common home, and secure a livable climate for future generations. We thank legislators for their support of this vital piece of legislation.”
The CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For almost 20 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.