Top California policymakers to testify against Trump Administration’s proposed plan weakening cleaner car standards
FRESNO – Senior California state representatives will testify Monday in opposition to the Trump Administration’s proposed amendment to roll back existing cleaner cars standards.
Representing four state agencies involved in climate and public health policy, they will testify that the current proposed rule would eviscerate the current greenhouse gas emission standards for model year 2021-2026 vehicles and put in place weakened emission and fuel efficiency standards at the expense of public health, the economy and the environment.
WHAT: Testimony at the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s listening session on proposed rollback of nation’s cleaner car standards
WHERE: The Grand 1401, 1401 Fulton Street, Fresno, California 93721
WHEN: Monday, September 24, 2018. Testimony from state officials will run from approximately 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Speakers will be available for media Q&A directly following the testimony.
WHO: Senior California representatives:
- Matthew Rodriquez, Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency
- Mary D. Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board
- Drew Bohan, Executive Director, California Energy Commission
- Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General
In 2010, the U.S. EPA, NHTSA, CARB, and car manufacturers established a unified national program harmonizing greenhouse gas emission standards and fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards. In 2012, 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 mid-term 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 mid-term 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 CARB. CARB confirmed in March 2017 that the agreed-upon standards for model years 2022-2025 were 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 claimed the federal greenhouse gas standards for model year 2022-2025 vehicles were no longer appropriate. The Administration failed to provide appropriate or relevant evidence for this arbitrary and capricious revision of its previous mid-term evaluation. Leading a coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia, Governor Brown, Attorney General Becerra, and CARB sued the EPA on May 1, 2018, over the EPA’s April 13th action.
At present, the car industry is on track to meet or exceed the clean car standards at issue.
The federal Clean Air Act (CAA) preserves California’s authority to set its own stricter-than-federal vehicle emissions regulations to address the State’s extraordinary air quality challenges and because it had vehicle air quality regulations on its books predating the CAA and EPA. Since then, CARB has adopted, implemented, and enforced a wide array of nation-leading air pollution controls, based on a strong foundation of science and reflecting a longstanding partnership with federal air quality regulators. Its pollution control strategies have proven to be a model for other states, the nation, and other countries.
The ability of other states to adopt California standards, as long as they are as or more stringent than federal standards, is written into the CAA Section 177.