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Plug In America challenging Trump administration to protect clean car standards
08.06.2018 - by Noah Barnes
Plug In America challenging Trump administration to protect clean car standards

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.

9 comments on “Plug In America challenging Trump administration to protect clean car standards”
  1. Henri Erhardt says:

    Fuel economy standards and clean Air standards must be strenghtend, not weakened.

  2. eric hayden says:

    coal & oil is out ! time for more sophisticated energy sources.

  3. David Benjamin says:

    Inexpensive plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars from many American and foreign manufacturers are finally well established in the new/used car marketplace. The last three vehicles I’ve personally owned got three times better mileage and required three times less maintenance (and also polluted far less air) than any equivalent ICE thanks in large part to California’s (and Oregon’s, and Colorado’s) early leadership in these areas.

  4. Linda Nicholes says:

    Clean car standards serve to improve vehicle technology on multiple levels. These standards not only help to clean our air and address climate change, they also on a car-by-car basis, result in technology that improves power, torque and even results in less noise pollution. Clean car standards also lower maintenance costs and quite simply result in a better product.

  5. Terry M Robb says:

    the automakers need to go ahead and make the vehicles to get the better mileage as the previous laws required. prius is too small and slow

  6. Alexander Chucholowski says:

    How on earth can the federal government in these days of accelerated climate change roll back the clean car standards and have the gall to deny the environmentally responsible State of California to set its own standards?
    The explanation that the technologies to meet the clean standards for 2025 set by the Obama administration would be too costly is not valid. Family cars like the Toyota Prius already achieve those standards today, meeting the needs of American drivers and are very affordable.

  7. Maria Adams says:

    This will be a front and center issue for Californians in the coming mid-term elections. All voters, regardless of state, should send a message to Washington that we will not let the last 30 years of diligent and hard-fought-for legislation in order to hand our children a clean and protected environment (that lowers health costs, as well), be decimated under the feet of greedy and short-sighted interests. This is a measure of how much you care.

  8. JIMMIE MARTIN says:

    Keep the standards in place for CA.
    Do not limit States from doing the right thing.

  9. Nancy Henderson says:

    Car emission and fuel economy standards should be strengthened, not weakened.

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