Where air pollution isn’t an abstraction

In the San Joaquin Valley, where we breathe some of the dirtiest air in the United States, California’s infamous smog is not just a statistic. It’s a fact that follows us every day and affects every breath.

San Francisco Chronicle / 09.21.2018

Opinion: California should phase out gas-powered vehicles

With the Trump Administration working to weaken automobile efficiency and pollution standards, policymakers in Sacramento and in cities up and down our state need to boost our collective leadership in the fight against climate change.

San Jose Mercury News / 09.04.2018

In California, Facts and Science Still Matter

California may feel, too, a special sense of urgency, not to mention a special sense of grievance. In early August, in another big swipe at Mr. Obama’s climate agenda, the Trump administration announced a rollback of part of the former president’s ambitious fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. The Trump plan would not only weaken the rules but also strip California of its historic right, conferred by federal clean air laws, to set its own air quality standards. Those standards — which 13 other states have chosen to follow — led during the Obama years to a set of nationwide fuel economy benchmarks that, until Mr. Trump intervened, promised consumers years of steadily cleaner and more efficient cars. California, not surprisingly, has vowed to fight.

New York Times / 09.03.2018

Colorado should adopt California low emission vehicle standards

Under the ousted EPA head Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency began considering a rule to freeze vehicle emissions standards at 2020 levels. Instead of continuing to make steady incremental progress toward reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Pruitt decided, the EPA should look into pausing the implementation of Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. The low emission vehicle standards are pushing car manufacturers to invest in the technology of more-efficient, lower-emission combustion engines, and the cost of doing so hasn’t been prohibitive. We haven’t seen compelling evidence that the standards are too onerous. Even some in the auto industry are pushing back on the EPA’s move; Ford Motor CEO Jim Hackett told investors that Ford will still meet or exceed the original CAFE requirements. Admittedly, the auto industry as a whole is arguing that the 2012 standards put in place under President Barack Obama are too high and it’ll cost too much to achieve a fleet average of more than 50 miles a gallon, or about 36 mpg in real-world driving, by 2025. Thankfully Gov. John Hickenlooper is pushing back.

Denver Post / 08.28.2018

By Freezing Vehicle Standards, The Trump Administration Will Grind Auto Innovation To A Halt

Freezing CAFE would stifle technological progress…a lot. The figure below, taken from Trump’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analysis, compares projected annual sales in 2026 for various technologies under currently planned standards with projected sales if standards are frozen at 2020 levels. We can see that the regulatory rollback will leave us with 7 million vehicles with turbochargers in 2026 instead of 11 million, and 0.4 million hybrids instead of 4 million. You can also see considerable lost opportunities with other efficiency technologies. The differences are stark indeed.

Annual sales of efficiency technologies in 2026 under currently planned standards and under a freeze of standards at 2020 levels (based on NHTSA regulatory estimates)

Annual sales of efficiency technologies in 2026 under currently planned standards and under a freeze of standards at 2020 levels (based on NHTSA regulatory estimates)

Forbes / 08.20.2018

California moves to safeguard vehicle emissions rules from Trump rollback

California is firing back at the Trump administration with a plan to safeguard the state’s greenhouse gas emissions rules from a proposed federal rollback. A state Air Resources Board proposal released Tuesday would force automakers to meet California’s existing standards on car and truck pollution, even if weaker ones are adopted by Trump administration.

Los Angeles Times / 08.07.2018

California Strikes Back Against the Trump Administration’s Auto Pollution Rollback

Last week, the Trump administration unveiled one of its most consequential environmental rollbacks yet, a plan to let cars pollute more while stripping California of its right to set its own air-quality rules. On Tuesday, California opened its counteroffensive, laying out in a report a scathing rebuttal that the state’s clean-air regulator, Mary Nichols, said would inform its legal and regulatory battle with Washington in the coming months and years.

New York Times / 08.07.2018

Groups across California respond to Trump administration Attack on state pollution standards

In response to the Trump administration’s unprecedented attack on California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to limit vehicle tailpipe pollution, state-based organizations delivered sweeping condemnations of the attempt to limit California’s ability to address air quality issues. Official statements are listed alphabetically from CALSTART, Coalition for Clean Air, Coltura, E2, Environment California, Greenlining Institute, NRDC, Plug In America, and Sierra Club California.

California Clean Cars Campaign / 08.03.2018