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Illinois’ governor opposes adopting California emission standards


(The Center Square) – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker opposed a bill that seeks to have the Land of Lincoln adopt the vehicle emissions standards of California.

At a ribbon cutting for an electric vehicle manufacturing training academy in Normal Tuesday, Pritzker said now is not the right time for House Bill 1634. The measure from state Rep. Edgar Gonzalez, Jr., D-Chicago, would have Illinois adopt California’s emission standards.

“We ultimately need to replace fossil fuel emitting vehicles in this country, and so we want to be a part of that in the state of Illinois,” Pritzker said. “We have created incentives … sort of carrots rather than sticks to move people in the right direction.”

Gonzalez isn’t the only representative who has a bill that seeks to adopt California’s vehicle emission standards. Josh Witkowski, the state legislative coordinator and lobbyist for motorcycle group ABATE of Illinois, said there are three bills.

State Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, has the senate version in Senate Bill 2050 with identical language, Witkowski said.

State Sen. Mike Simmons, D-Chicago, also has a bill, Senate Bill 2839, where it not only would adopt California’s vehicle emission standards but also implement California’s Advanced Clean Cars program regulations, which requires manufacturers to sell an increasing number of zero-emission vehicles year-over-year.

Witkowski said ABATE views this as an abdication of Illinois lawmakers’ responsibilities.

“Illinois lawmakers would be saying Illinois is subject to the whims of an unelected board in California if these bills were to pass,” Witkowski said.

Witkowski said he and ABATE are glad that the governor is not in favor of a mandate of running toward California-style emissions control or their requirements regarding zero-emissions vehicles.

“ABATE of Illinois will also stand in favor of incentivization and education versus mandates,” said Witkowski.

ABATE of Illinois said the bills are hostile towards the motorcycle and off-road community. Witkowski said in California, it is very difficult to obtain parts for motorcycles.