Ohio Shuns California Emissions Regulations


Ohio Shuns California Emissions Regulations
An aerial view from a drone of the downtown Cleveland, Ohio, skyline with traffic and skyscrapers. © Wirestock Creators

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill into law last month that, effective March 28, prohibits a state agency from adopting stricter California emissions standards for motor vehicles.

California is the country’s largest car market and the United States federal government gives it unique authority to set its own automobile emissions regulations and other environmental regulations, and it also permits other states to opt to follow California’s emissions regulations rather than the federal government’s.

Ohio House Bill 201 prohibits that state’s environmental protection agency or any other state agency from adopting any motor vehicle emissions standards that are established by California as a result of California receiving a waiver pursuant to section 209(b) of the federal Clean Air Act.

Among other things, the bill also prohibits a state agency, county or township in the state from restricting the sale or use of a motor vehicle based on the energy source used to power it.

In August 2022, the California Air Resources Board approved a rule that established a roadmap to end the sale of new internal combustion engine cars and light trucks, as part of a policy to switch to zero-emissions transport and cut demand for fossil fuels.

The rule – Advanced Clean Cars II – accelerates requirements that automakers deliver an increasing number of ZEVs each year, beginning in model year 2026. The regulation codifies light-duty vehicle goals stipulated in California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s September 2020 executive order.

California’s regulation applies to automakers, not dealers, and covers only new vehicle sales. It does not affect existing vehicles on the road today, which would remain legal to own and drive.