Colorado Drives Forward with Clean Cars

Governor Announces Plan to Move Ahead with State Clean Air Protections

June 19, 2018
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

(June 18, 2018) Colorado today formally joined the states that will create and enforce a clean cars program – a sharp turn away from the Trump administration, which is trying to undermine America’s national Clean Car Standards.


“Governor Hickenlooper’s announcement today will be a win-win for all Coloradans. It will help provide cleaner air and climate security, and will save Colorado families hard-earned money at the gas pump,” said EDF president Fred Krupp. “At a time when the Trump administration is attempting to throw our most effective pollution control measures into reverse, Colorado is showing that states can step up and maintain the protections we need.”


Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced an executive order today that will “ensure that the State of Colorado maintains the progress made in achieving a cleaner motor vehicle fleet.”


For half a century, states have played a key role in spurring the development and deployment of clean car solutions like smog-fighting catalytic converters. Under long-standing provisions in the Clean Air Act, California has the authority to set its own vehicle pollution standards, and other states can adopt those standards. Today more than a third of U.S. new car sales are covered by the coalition of states that have already committed to protective clean car standards: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, and Vermont.


National clean car standards in place since 2012 are providing benefits to all Americans – reducing climate pollution, spurring fuel efficiency gains, and saving families money at the gas pump.


But the Trump Administration and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt are now advancing a proposal to radically weaken these protections (17 states and a coalition of environmental groups, including EDF, are asking the courts to protect the Clean Car Standards).


In stark contrast to the administration’s actions, Colorado will now join the states that are setting clean air standards to protect their citizens from air pollution from cars. A recent EDF study found the health and climate benefits of Colorado’s decision will be extensive – and will be one of the most cost effective steps the state can take to ensure cleaner air for communities.


A new report by M.J. Bradley and Associates shows today’s decision will have substantial economic benefits for Colorado families. The report found a Colorado family could save up to $400 each year on gas – up to $5,000 over the life of a new car or $8,000 over the life of an SUV or passenger truck.


Today’s announcement is expected to have widespread support in Colorado. Earlier this month, the state’s Regional Air Quality Council urged Gov. Hickenlooper to protect clean cars in Colorado.


Nationally, an American Lung Association poll found that more than two-thirds of Americans support the Clean Car Standards.

Even major auto makers are not anxious to weaken the national Clean Car Standards. In March, Ford publicly disavowed any rollback, Honda has urged that any changes to the program be made “without a reduction in overall stringency,” and General Motors recently affirmed its commitment to “improve fuel economy, reduce emissions” and advocate for maintaining a single national program.  

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