Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
Goal: Ensure states retain the discretion to establish emission regulations that exceed the federal standard.
The state of California was granted the authority to establish its own vehicle emission standards through a federal government waiver. This was in response to severe air quality problems in Los Angeles and the San Joaquin valley throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Starting in 1994, California began expansion of existing federal emission guidelines to aggressively reduce the amount of carbon pollution from vehicle emissions, and the Obama administration approved an updated waiver in 2009, which significantly widened the areas over which California had regulatory discretion. These included mandating biannual emissions testing for all passenger vehicles, increasing the mileage per gallon standard for all new vehicles, and incentives for hybrid and zero emission technology development. Widely viewed as a model for emissions regulation, the California standards have so far been adopted by 13 other states.
Widespread implementation of the California emission targets is projected to markedly decrease overall fuel consumption, driver fuel cost and carbon emissions. A study conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund estimated a total fuel consumption reduction of 16 billion gallons, a 1 billion ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and a total fuel cost savings of $40 billion between 2010 and 2030 in the 13 states which implemented the California standard model, when compared with a projection based on the less stringent federal standards.
A threat to continuation of expanded emission regulations has presented itself in the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. During his tenure as Attorney General of Oklahoma, Pruitt doggedly pursued the weakening of air pollution emission regulations in 14 lawsuits against the EPA. Pruitt was also non-committal on upholding the California waiver when asked directly for that pledge during his confirmation hearing. This is in direct contrast with his strong support for states’ rights in almost every other policy area.
We cannot afford to move backward with regards to fuel consumption and efficiency. Please sign the below petition demanding Scott Pruitt maintain the ability for California to establish its own vehicle emission regulations.
Dear Administrator Pruitt,
I am writing to demand that you maintain the right for the state of California to establish its own vehicle emission standards as provided by federal waiver. These regulations have become a model for 13 other states with significant projected reductions in fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and costs to drivers over the next 15 years.
As a vocal proponent of states’ rights you should respect the sovereignty of those who wish to expand upon federal emission rules.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Hydrogen Iodide