SACRAMENTO – Today, California joined 22 other states and several other jurisdictions to challenge the Trump Administration’s plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards. Since these emission rules were enacted, they have reduced air pollution and protected the air our children breathe. The California Air Resources Board helped develop the original 2012 rules and is represented in this case by the California Attorney General.
"For 50 years, California has led the way by requiring automobile innovations that reduce the health impacts of tailpipe pollution,” said CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld. “The Trump Administration wants to take us back to a time of increased air pollution, which will have devastating effects on public health. We can’t afford any more kids with asthma - especially given the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic. California will continue fighting for a clean air future.”
The new, diminished standards set forth by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration drastically reduce the annual emission reductions from nearly five percent a year to just one and a half percent. The state’s suit claims the EPA and NHTSA have violated the laws and bypassed congressional requirements in enacting these rollbacks, and that the federal agencies used a faulty and flawed analysis, unfounded assumptions, and made statistical errors to manipulate data in support of their conclusions.
“The federal agencies used questionable science, faulty logic and ludicrous assumptions to justify what they wanted from the start: to gut and rewrite the single most important air regulation of the past decade,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “Despite all the hype, this rule is a loss for America, as evidenced by their own analysis. Because of this change, we will breathe more polluted air, suffer more premature deaths AND see a net loss of jobs in the automobile industry.”
The 2017 decision to maintain the previous vehicle greenhouse gas regulations was the result of several years of in-depth, joint analysis by U.S. EPA, NHTSA and California. Those rules provided motivation for development of cleaner, safer vehicles and fuels, and marked a national shift in efforts to address seriously the impacts of climate change. Transportation is 40 percent of GHG emissions in California, and the previous emissions standards are critical in our effort to combat climate change, as well as to assist in further development and growth of California’s sustainable economy.
CARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.