Decision will roll back Trump-era attack on state-level emissions standards
Washington (March 9, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, released the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reinstated California’s long-standing statutory authority under the Clean Air Act to implement its own greenhouse gas emission (GHG) standards and zero emission vehicle sales mandate. Section 177 of the Clean Air Act authorizes other states to adopt California’s standards, which states such as Massachusetts have used to support stronger vehicle greenhouse gas standards. The Biden administration previously announced stronger federal light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2023 through 2026, which will save American consumers between $210 billion and $420 billion through 2050 on fuel costs.
“By restoring California’s longstanding authority to set its own strong vehicle emissions standard, the Biden administration is putting states around the country back in the driver’s seat on the road to their climate, public health, and energy security goals,” said Senator Markey. “As Putin’s war in Ukraine drives up gas prices for American drivers, policies that support affordable, efficient, and healthy vehicles will be more important than ever. This decision rights the historic wrongs of the Trump administration, but we’re just gearing up. We must continue to implement the most stringent vehicle emission standards possible for everything on the road – from passenger cars to pickups to semi-trucks. The life of our planet depends on it.”
In November 2021, Senators Markey, Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Representative Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), joined by 43 members of Congress, sent a letter to the EPA in support of adopting the most stringent of the proposed greenhouse gas emission vehicle standards. In March 2021, Senator Markey and Rep. Matsui were joined by 79 members of Congress in urging the Biden administration to set ambitious fuel economy and vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards.
The Biden administration’s new light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards are enabled by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which included fuel economy language co-authored by then-Rep. Markey. That law included Markey’s language that said the standard must be at least 35 mpg by 2020, and that the “maximum feasible standard” must be set every year.