Toxic tailpipe emissions represents the biggest source of climate pollution in Virginia and contributes to 3,500 premature deaths in Virginia every year. A policy known as the Advanced Clean Cars Standards is a common sense approach to protect our health and preserve our climate.
What are Clean Car Standards?
The Advanced Clean Cars Standards (ACCS) is a policy that strengthens efficiency standards of gas-powered vehicles (i.e. reduce the polluting capacity of cars, trucks, etc.) and incentivize the sale of zero emission/ pollution vehicles. Integrating low emission and zero emission vehicles to the transportation sector save people money on gas and improves air quality, especially for those who live near highways and high traffic areas. States can choose to adopt the ACCS or follow lackluster rules that fail to reduce tailpipe pollution set by the Federal government. Vehicle manufacturers of lower and zero pollution vehicles prioritize distribution in states with ACCS.
Virginia adopted the ACCS in 2021, increasing costumer choice over what vehicles they can purchase instead of forcing consumers to travel out of state to purchase a clean mode of transportation. Governor Youngkin and his polluter-first buddies are actively trying to repeal Clean Car Standards in Virginia.
Why Virginia Needs Clean Cars Standards
Clean Car standards strengthen our economy, expand consumer choice, and improve health. Despite the massive benefits, Governor Youngkin wants to repeal the program. Here's some reasons why abandoning clean cars standards is irresponsible:
- Clean Car Standards alleviate pollution from our transportation system. Tailpipe emissions are toxic and greatly damage air quality. According to a report from Clinicians for Climate Action, transportation pollution creates toxic particulate matter that contributes to more 3,000 premature deaths and 3,500 hospitalization in Virginia every year.
- Without Clean Cars standards, people looking to purchase a clean vehicle will likely have to get them at dealerships out state, spending money that should go local dealerships.
- Consumers deserve the option to purchase a non-polluting vehicle if they want to, but access to those vehicles is reduced or eliminated without Clean Cars Standards.
- Cleaner vehicles, especially electric cars are typically less expensive to maintain and operate than gas cars. They also empower drivers to avoid the volatile price of gasoline.
- Many of the biggest vehicle manufacturing companies have committed to building all electric vehicles by a certain dates. This trend is expected to continue. Clean Car standards positions Virginia to be able compete in a growing market and meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.
- Transportation pollution is a justice issue as much as it an environmental one. People of color shoulder the greatest burden of tailpipe emissions largely because of racist policies like redlining that forced these communities to live near highways and other high traffic, high pollution areas.