Washington (March 1, 2023) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Representatives Doris Matsui (CA-07) and Yvette Clarke (NY-09) today led 54 of their colleagues in writing to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan urging the agency to finalize and issue vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for both cars and trucks by the end of the year, speeding up its current deadline of March 2024. The letter further calls for the EPA to issue the strongest emission standards possible, which would allow for the United States to meet its climate commitment under the Paris Agreement and would account for technological advances and expected cost savings made possible thanks to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The lawmakers also urged the EPA to carry out a robust, inclusive stakeholder process, which ensures environmental justice communities are included in the decision-making process.
“Thanks to the historic climate and clean energy investments we secured in the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Congress has shifted into high gear and merged the United States into the fast lane on the highway to our clean energy future,” said Senator Markey. “The EPA has the opportunity now to swiftly issue and finalize the strongest vehicle emission standards possible, which would signal to our partners around the world that we are taking our climate commitments seriously and working to reduce car emissions and protect public health. We cannot wait any longer.”
“As we work to aggressively combat the climate crisis, I have been unwavering in my calls for ambitious vehicle emission standards and strong federal policies to improve our air quality,” said Representative Matsui. “I am proud to represent Sacramento, the leading edge of climate policy in the state of California. Every day, Sacramento serves as an example that we can embrace bold climate solutions and crack down on harmful emissions while spurring on innovation and development in clean vehicle technologies. This is the time to think bigger and bolder on our climate goals and implement the necessary solutions to protect our future.”
“In order to protect the health of our communities and reduce the GHG pollution causing dangerous and costly climate change, the EPA must ensure the LDV and HDV rules are as strong as possible and reflect major advancements in zero-emission technologies,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. “The sooner that long-term LDV and HDV rules are in place, the sooner the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) and related infrastructure industries will have regulatory certainty on which they can rely and that will enhance their decision-making, product development, and rollout.”
“Moreover, the expeditious promulgation of strong LDV and HDV rules is critical for the United States to meet its GHG emission reduction targets over the coming decade and provide long-overdue protections for environmental justice communities,” the letter continued. “We urge the EPA to take the readily achievable step of accelerating its LDV rulemaking to match the timeline for the HDV rule.”
Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Representatives Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Don Beyer (VA-08), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Troy Carter (LA-02), André Carson (IN-07), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Judy Chu (CA-28), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Mike Levin (CA-49), Ted Lieu (CA-36), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), Eleanor Norton (DC), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Scott Peters (CA-50), Brittany Pettersen (CO-07), Katie Porter (CA-47), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Mary Scanlon (PA-05), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Adam Schiff (CA-30), Adam Smith (WA-09), Darren Soto (FL-09), Dina Titus (NV-01), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Federica Wilson (FL-24) also joined the letter.
In November 2021, Senators Markey, Padilla and Feinstein and Representative Matsui led a letter to EPA to strengthen vehicle emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for Model Years 2023 through 2026. Last December, Senator Markey celebrated the U.S. Postal Service’s dramatic transition to an electrified mail delivery fleet by 2026 after calling on the Postal Service to ramp up electrification efforts of its mail delivery fleet.
Senator Markey has been a fuel economy champion since standards were 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 set the standard to at least 35 mpg by 2020, and required the “maximum feasible standard” to be set every year. During the Trump Administration, Senator Markey reintroduced the Greener Air Standards Mean Our National Security, Environment, and Youth (GAS MONEY) Saved Act, which would block efforts to roll back fuel economy and vehicle emission standards.