Environment and transportation attorney to comment on California’s Advanced Clean Cars Standards

Media availability for Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012
Contact: 

Media contact
Lori Sinsley, 415-293-6097(office), lsinsley@edf.org

What
An attorney from Environmental Defense Fund will testify today in Los Angeles about California’s Advanced Clear Cars Standards, and is available to speak with the media before and after she testifies.

Why
The United States (U.S.) is addicted to oil, which threatens our national and economy security and puts our health and environment at risk. The country consumes nearly a quarter of the oil consumed worldwide, but controls less than 2 percent of the supply. We import more than half of it from foreign countries led by unfriendly regimes. In 2008, we sent more than $1 billion a day overseas to pay for oil, the high price of which threatens our fragile economy, leaving consumers with less money to spend elsewhere.

More than 70 percent of imported oil is used for transportation, which accounts for 27 percent of our national carbon emissions, with on-road vehicles contributing about a third of the country’s smog-producing air pollution that impacts public health. In California’s Los Angeles region alone, transportation accounts for more than two-thirds of smog-forming pollution and more than 40 percent of the greenhouse gas pollution (GHG). Reducing emissions are an important part of efforts to ward off the worst consequences of climate change.

California’s Advanced Clean Cars program will protect our economy, cut climate pollution and protect health.

These standards will save consumers more than $3000 over the lifetime of a 2016 vehicle, are expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from light-duty vehicles by roughly 21 percent by 2030 and save 1.8 billion barrels of oil. The model year 2017-2025 standards currently under consideration at the state and federal level will save approximately 4 billion barrels of oil and 2 billion metric tons of emissions. Fuel savings are expected to far outweigh higher vehicle costs, and that the net benefits to society of the proposed standards will be as much as $421 billion over the lifetime of the program.

California’s Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV III) program is an important tool in helping to ward off the consequences of climate change. Existing and proposed LEV standards will provide Californians with health and environmental benefits by reducing criteria pollutants. California estimates that smog forming pollutants that cause serious health problems will be reduced by 75 percent by 2025 [PDF]. These estimated reductions are expected to avoid up to 530 premature deaths by 2025, and will help hard hit areas like the San Joaquin Valley Air Basin and the South Coast Air Basin meet health-based air quality standards.

EDF urges California to adopt these standards without delay in order to reap the many environmental, health and economic benefits this program offers and to continue its critical leadership in promoting advanced clean cars.

Who, how, when and where
Erica Morehouse of Environmental Defense Fund is available to comment before and after testimony, reachable at 919.971.6419 or in person at the hearing in the Board Room at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, 700 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, California 90012. (Map [PDF])

Download Morehouse's testimony [PDF]

Media contact
Lori Sinsley, 415-293-6097(office), lsinsley@edf.org

About EDF: Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Visit us on Twitter at @EnvDefenseFund and @EDF_CA, at our California blog, California Dream 2.0, and on Facebook at facebook.com/EnvDefenseFund.