On August 2, the Trump administration proposed rolling back clean car standards and revoking the authority of states to set stronger limits on vehicle emissions. In response, Plug In America is joining a lawsuit against the federal government to defend clean air, national security, public health, and the global climate.
“The Trump Administration is tossing away states’ rights with this unprecedented proposal, telling Americans to drive dirtier vehicles that are more expensive to fuel,” said Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America. “California has historically had some of the worst air pollution in the country. The authority granted to California to set strong standards for itself and the twelve other states plus D.C. that follow its rules has led to significantly reduced air pollution. Revoking this authority doesn’t help anyone, it just hurts the American people. We will see them in court.”
How you can help
- Sign the petition. Make your voice heard by sharing your comments in our petition. We will share these with the EPA.
- Spread the word. Follow us on social media, share the petition, and tell your friends and family why the clean car standards are so important.
- Donate. Your contribution will help us fight the federal government for cleaner air for all Americans.
“I was driving an electric car in the early 2000s when we had to fight both the State of California and the automakers’ effort to crush our electric cars and roll back the zero emission vehicle mandate that had proved electric cars were ready for the market,” said Marc Geller, vice president of Plug In America. “I’m so pleased this time around we are fighting together against the Trump administration’s effort to decimate policies that are working to deliver cleaner, cheaper, better cars to American consumers.”
“The Trump Administration is taking a stand against oil independence, the public health, and states’ rights by challenging California’s right to protect people from tailpipe pollution,” said Jennifer Krill, president of Plug In America. “We founded Plug In America in order to fight for pollution-free, petroleum-free transportation, and that’s why I’m so proud that we are standing up to the Trump Administration today.”
The new proposal would freeze the current standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks until 2020, and then freeze the standards again at the model year (MY) 2020 level through 2026. In addition, starting in MY 2021, major pollutants such as air conditioning refrigerant leakage, nitrous oxide and methane emissions would not count towards compliance, essentially weakening the standards even more.
As a part of the proposal, the Administration proposes to withdraw the specific waiver granted to California that allows the state to set its own stronger limits on vehicle emissions. This is an authority that states have had for more than 50 years. The California program, called the Advanced Clean Car (ACC) program, includes the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate and the Greenhouse Gas (GHG standards), along with standards for criteria pollutants.
For more information on the proposal, see the full proposal and factsheets on the EPA site, and be sure to also see the Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS) post on “8 Ridiculous Things in the Trump Rollback of Clean Car Standards (and 1 Thing They Did Get Right)” or the full UCS resource page on the Clean Car Standards.