CARB’s Comments on SAFE Proposal
California, the Trump Administration & Clean Vehicle Standards
In 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and car manufacturers established a unified national program harmonizing GHG emission standards and fuel efficiency standards. Two years later, the agencies extended the national program to model years 2017-2025 vehicles. As part of the program, California and the federal agencies agreed to undertake a midterm evaluation to determine if the greenhouse gas emission standards for model years 2022-2025 vehicles should be maintained or revised.
In January 2017, the EPA completed the midterm evaluation by issuing a final determination, affirming that the existing standards were appropriate and would not be changed. The EPA arrived at this conclusion based on an extensive record it developed in conjunction with NHTSA and CARB. CARB also confirmed in January 2017 that its Advanced Clean Cars standards, which are part of the national program, remained appropriate and feasible.
On April 13, 2018, however, the Trump Administration took the first step toward dismantling the national program when it issued a revised final determination that alleged the federal greenhouse gas standards for model year 2022-2025 vehicles were no longer appropriate.
On August 24, 2018, the Trump Administration made its rollback proposal official, effectively eviscerating the standards, and breaking the agreement that had supported the one national program for all auto manufacturers and states.
On September 24, 2018, at a public hearing in Fresno, California, Attorney General Becerra along with CARB Chair Mary Nichols, CalEPA Secretary Matt Rodriquez, and other California state leaders provided testimony to EPA and NHTSA officials on the importance of the current standards, and criticized the agencies’ failure to uphold the law.