EPA Chief Signals Showdown With California on Fuel Emission Standards

The Trump administration’s chief environmental regulator signaled a coming showdown with California, warning the state won’t dictate the future of ambitious automobile fuel economy regulations enacted by the Obama administration.

"California is not the arbiter of these issues," said Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. California regulates greenhouse gas emissions at the state level, "but that shouldn’t and can’t dictate to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be."

/ 03.16.2018

Scientists Stand Up Against Shoddy Science on Glider Vehicles

Glider vehicles have gone from being a niche issue to a major conversation piece both here in DC and now also in Tennessee.  The villains are still Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, Fitzgerald Glider Kits, and Congresswoman Diane Black.  The new heroes are the Tennessee Tech University (TTU) faculty and students. First a quick recap of the issue: Glider vehicles are new truck bodies that have old, polluting engines in them.  As noted in my colleague Dave Cooke’s previous blogs, the particulate matter (PM) emissions alone from these vehicles will cause an additional 1600 premature deaths annually (assuming they make 10,000 vehicles a year). And the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are 10x that of the emissions from the Volkswagen diesel cars that were outfitted with defeat devices for every year this loophole remains open.

Union of Concerned Scientists / 03.16.2018

New Data Show Electric Vehicles Continue to Get Cleaner

New data from the US EPA on power plant greenhouse gas emissions are in, and electric vehicles (EV) in the US are even cleaner than they were before. The climate change emissions created by driving on electricity depend on where you live, but on average, an EV driving on electricity in the U.S. today is equivalent to a conventional gasoline car that gets 80 MPG, up from 73 MPG in our 2017 update.

Union of Concerned Scientists / 03.13.2018

Matsui Leads 19 Energy & Commerce Colleagues in Legislation to Preserve Fuel Economy and Vehicle Emissions Standard

Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA-06) led 19 of her House Energy & Commerce Committee colleagues in introducing the Clean and Efficient Cars Act of 2018, which would preserve fuel economy and vehicle emissions standards that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save drivers money at the pump. The legislation would codify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) standards that were created in 2012 for light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) for model years 2021 to 2025. In March of 2017, the Trump Administration announced that the EPA and DOT would be revisiting those standards, despite the fact that the EPA issued a final determination in January 2017 to maintain them. “The benefits of these standards are undeniable,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “By taking action to preserve them legislatively, we are continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect public health, save consumers money at the pump, and promote innovation. Allowing the Trump Administration to roll back these standards would be a step backwards. We should instead be promoting policies that drive us towards a more sustainable future for all Americans.”

Congresswoman Doris Matsui / 03.08.2018

The federal government should stop threatening our right to cut down on car pollution

The federal government is threatening to weaken national clean car standards for passenger cars and trucks. These standards, adopted in 2012, were inspired by California’s leadership and aligned national fuel-economy and greenhouse gas rules with California’s health-protective emissions rules. Even the automakers saw this as an historic agreement to unite the nation under one set of protective standards. Now, not only are those standards at risk, leadership at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has even questioned the need for California’s authority to set its own clean car standards — standards that 12 other states plus the District of Columbia follow.

LA Daily News / 02.12.2018

Put a charge in California’s electric vehicle program

Gov. Jerry Brown’s big, bold $2.5 billion executive order committing the state to a goal of 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030 expands a program that was already far and away the most ambitious in the United States. The potential benefits are great and deserve the support of Californians, including Brown’s potential successors. Transportation remains the largest source of greenhouse gases in California, accounting for just under 40 percent of the total. But achieving the targets won’t be easy, and the governor has less than a year in office to cement them into place.

San Jose Mercury News / 02.01.2018

The Electrification Era Moves Closer for Cars

Ford said this week that it will spend $11 billion on electrified vehicles by 2022, including 16 new full battery-electric models. Its plans include a gas-electric hybrid version of its cornerstone pickup, the F-150, as well as a high-performance all-electric supercar, which it’s calling the Mach 1. That comes just a few weeks after GM's CEO, Mary Barra, said the automaker is committed to an all-electric future, with 20 new models by 2022. Two of those will be battery-electric crossovers based on the Chevy Bolt in the next 18 months.

Consumer Reports / 01.22.2018

Let California lead on clean cars

When Congress passed the Clean Air Act, it specifically recognized California’s right to protect its citizens with stronger standards on clean cars and trucks than federal ones. Today, 13 states plus Washington D.C. – which together represent more than one-third of the new car market and 113 million Americans – have embraced California’s clean cars standards. Now, that right is being threatened. A congressional hearing last week focused on creating a single national standard for vehicle emissions and fuel economy.

Sacramento Bee / 12.18.2017