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Fresno Heat and Foul Air Set Stage for Trump Tailpipe Debate

In a conference call with reporters Friday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the state has no choice but to defend and strengthen its pollution standards. The Los Angeles area recently completed 87 consecutive days of excessive smog, the longest stretch in 20 years, he said.

Bloomberg News / 09.24.2018

Con: Fresno and rest of Valley communities cannot afford dirtier cars

As an asthma and allergy physician treating patients in the central San Joaquin Valley for more than 13 years, I thought I had seen it all. Then I saw that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) were holding a hearing in Fresno to get the public’s view of rolling back cleaner car standards and stripping California’s ability to protect our residents from harmful pollution.

Fresno Bee / 09.21.2018

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

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

Colorado Shows How States Other Than California Can Help Counter Trump’s EPA

In June, Governor Hickenlooper issued an Executive Order ("Maintaining Progress on Clean Vehicles") that says that the federal government intention to, "roll back vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for model years 2022 and beyond. ... could also have serious consequences for Colorado's efforts to meet out clean energy goals." Hickenlooper thus ordered the establishment of a Colorado low emission vehicle (LEV) program that would incorporate the requirements of the California LEV program. On August 16th, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (CAQCC) debated a proposed rule that would require, starting January 2021, all new passenger cars that are sold or leased in Colorado to match California's rules for new car emissions. By making Colorado's rules the same as California's, it would not add any additional burden to the auto industry (since automakers already work to meet California's rules) but it would add another state to the list of thirteen that has already adopted California's Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards.

Forbes / 08.23.2018

U.S. states and cities take responsibility on clean cars

The jurisdictions standing in opposition to the Trump rollback represent a sizable share of the U.S. auto market. The 13 states implementing the Low-Emission Vehicle standards represent 35% of US vehicle sales. Adding the states who have either joined the litigation or vowed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions brings the total to 49% of US vehicles. Adding new vehicles from cities voicing opposition to the rollback (outside the states already counted) means all these climate-protecting states and cities amount to 55% of the U.S. auto market.
States and cities opposing rollback of clean car standards

ICCT / 08.22.2018

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