Democrats Cannot Hide From Vote to Ban Gas Cars

By Steve Haner

Yes, Virginia, the Democrats are coming for your gasoline and diesel powered cars. The only way to decouple Virginia from the California Air Resources Board’s relentless drive toward electric vehicles only on new car lots is to change the political landscape in Richmond and reverse a 2021 bill.

A Republican candidate for Virginia Senate used the illustration above to challenge his opponent, current Delegate Danica Roem (D-Manassas), now seeking a seat in the less numerous body. The blog Blue Virginia rushed to Roem’s defense. Here is the full link to the article so you can get the link and the tenor of the message all in one.

“False fearmongering” and “wild lies”? The attack on Roem’s vote to surrender Virginia’s regulatory authority to California could have been more carefully worded. Right now the law will only ban the sale, not the use, of new gasoline or diesel cars come 2035. It will begin to restrict sales with the 2026 model year, which is now just two years away. There is no ban on owning one. Yet.

It might be a fair question to ask Democrats who voted for the 2021 bill if they are willing to promise it will go no further. Will they promise not to vote in the future to speed up the targets or restrict used vehicles? Blue Virginia didn’t address that.

Instead, it called on Senator Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, who sought to reassure Blue Virginia readers (because even many Democrats think this is crackers) that they can buy a new gas or diesel car right up until 2035, and a used one beyond that. But in truth the regulation already in force states that by 2030, fewer than one-third of new sales can be something other than a vehicle that runs on electricity from the grid. By 2033, the minimum percentage that must be EV’s is 88%.

Unless customer preferences really do change, those remaining new gas cars or gas hybrids will be a hot commodity. The right to buy something doesn’t mean much if regulations mean the product cannot be found, and scarcity is driving up price. This is going to be a bonanza for dealers in West Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

If Virginia automobile dealers come to a point where they regret this, well, they supported that 2021 bill and continue to fund the campaigns of the Democrats who voted for it.  Ask one if he or she thinks EV sales will reach 35% in two years. Ignore the hype in the op-ed columns – find a real dealer and ask.

The rules that manage the rationing system are complicated, but in general if the auto makers and auto dealers cannot convince enough people to buy EV’s, they won’t be able to ship as many gas or diesel vehicles. Which is why the 2021 Democrats also voted to create a state-funded subsidy for EV purchases, still on the books but not (yet) funded with cash.

Imagine being told that you cannot get that F-150 with a gas engine you want until enough people come into the dealership to buy the EV’s sitting on the lot. The illusion of choice for consumers is overpowered by the reality of the mandates and rationing on the industry.

Some of the Green New Deal nonsense that has found its way into the Code of Virginia has enjoyed some level of bipartisan support, but not this slow-motion train wreck. As bad as the underlying policy, the worst aspect of the Democrat’s move is how it abandons Virginia’s sovereignty to California’s appointed bureaucrats.

If you think the Californians are done with this now that the Advanced Clean Cars II program is adopted, perhaps you’d like to join the bidding pool on the Oakland Bay Bridge. Surovell in particular is a committed climate warrior, convinced CO2 is a poison and that Virginia can make a difference despite the rest of the world’s indifference. “Climate change is a full blown crisis,” he recently insisted on Twitter or X or whatever we call it now.

The line will soon be: We can’t wait until 2035 to deal with a full-blown crisis! We can’t allow used vehicles using gasoline or diesel to stay on the highways decades longer if this is a full-blown crisis! But with a one-vote edge in the Virginia Senate and voters starting to wake up about how this is a mandate only pretending to be a choice, it is important to defend the cover story. Give Surovell a real majority and a willing Governor in 2025 and see what comes next. Remember, some of the saner members of his caucus went down in the primaries.

“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor.”  No, wait, that was something else. Strike “doctor” and insert “gas-driven pick-up truck.”