EPA should adopt strongest possible ‘Clean Cars’ standards
On September 27, we submitted comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to return to stronger tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. This is a much-needed step to reverse damage done by the Trump administration in substantially weakening these standards last year.
“Transportation is the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution, and a majority of this pollution comes from passenger cars and trucks, so these tailpipe standards are a critical tool to address the role of transportation in driving climate change,” said SELC Staff Attorney Carroll Courtenay. “Bold action is needed now to strengthen these standards.”
The current proposal would increase the stringency of GHG emissions standards for vehicles by approximately 10% for model year 2023, and then by 5% per year from model years 2024 to 2026. While this would be an improvement over the existing Trump-era standards, we are urging EPA to go further. The agency’s own analysis shows that more stringent standards than those currently proposed are achievable and would result in greater emissions reductions and overall net benefits—including lower fuel costs and air pollution. We also recommend that EPA close potential loopholes in its proposal that could unnecessarily weaken the standards and prolong the sale of dirtier cars.
Given the damage caused by tailpipe pollution, and the multiple benefits of cleaner vehicles, EPA needs to adopt the strongest standards possible under the Clean Air Act.Trip Pollard, Leader of SELC’s Land & Community Program
Beyond reducing GHG emissions, there is a lot to be gained from stricter tailpipe standards. Stronger standards that hasten the transition to cleaner and zero-emissions vehicles will help reduce household transportation costs and the health impacts of vehicle exhaust, both of which disproportionately burden low-income communities and communities of color. Electric vehicles also offer numerous benefits for drivers, such as lower maintenance costs.
“Given the damage caused by tailpipe pollution, and the multiple benefits of cleaner vehicles, EPA needs to adopt the strongest standards possible under the Clean Air Act,” said Trip Pollard, who heads up our Land & Community program.