California supports federal proposal for more stringent requirements for vehicle greenhouse gas emissions
For immediate release
Sacramento—The California Air Resources Board and the California Attorney General today sent comment letters in support of U.S. EPA’s proposal to restore more stringent federal standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from passenger vehicles and light trucks. CARB’s comments outline a preference for standards that recover emissions reductions lost in the period after the Trump Administration rolled back the so-called Obama National Program Standards. That rollback greatly weakened the greenhouse gas requirements.
“Climate change is a global threat and California is ground zero for its impacts in the United States,” said CARB Chair Liane M. Randolph. “Vehicles are the number one source of human-caused greenhouse gases in both the state and the country, and U.S. EPA’s proposed action can help restore a science-based approach to vehicle emissions standards, fight climate change and protect communities hardest hit by pollution from fossil-fuel powered cars and trucks. We applaud U.S. EPA’s efforts that will help Californians and other Americans experiencing drought, heat, and wildfires of unprecedented intensity.”
CARB’s comments supports the EPA option that calls for restored emissions reductions beginning in 2023, with more stringent requirements through 2026. But new requirements with deeper reductions are still called for after 2026. The letter provides documentation justifying the restored standards in light of deteriorating climate conditions and threats to public health, especially in communities most directly exposed to pollution and climate impacts.
The comments, signed by CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey, includes this statement: “The solutions are at hand. The ingenuity of engineers and scientists has improved vehicle emission technology and significantly reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. In many instances these improvements pay for themselves in fuel savings, and in all ways their benefits to public health and welfare far outweigh their costs.”
In 2012, California and the Obama Administration implemented harmonized state and federal vehicle emissions standards. This created the first unified national standard, known as the One National Program. The common standards required agreed-upon reductions through 2025 of GHGs from light-duty passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks. There was agreement that the standards would be subjected to a mid-term evaluation by 2018 of requirements for the years 2022-2025. That evaluation found those standards reasonable and feasible.
In 2018, the Trump Administration announced it was revisiting the 2021-2025 rules, and actually rolled them back in 2020. CARB and a number of other states and local jurisdictions sued to have that rollback rescinded. After the Biden Administration was elected, all court action was stayed while the standards are reconsidered.