EDF Files Clean Cars Comments, As Enthusiasm for Zero-Emission Vehicles Picks Up Speed

June 11, 2021
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

(June 11, 2021) EDF filed comments in two matters related to clean vehicles today, as the momentum for increased deployment of zero-emission cars, trucks and buses in America continues to surge ahead.

“People across the country are racing to join the effort to transition to zero-emission vehicles that will save lives, create American jobs, and protect our climate. With these comments, EDF is supporting both California’s authority and its latest efforts to lead the charge,” said EDF senior attorney Alice Henderson.

In Washington, D.C., EDF joined 11 other heath, environmental and science groups to file comments with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration supporting its proposal to reverse a Trump-era rule that undermined states’ clean cars authority.

The Clean Air Act directs EPA to grant California waivers of federal preemption to set more protective standards for vehicular air pollution, and allows other states to adopt them. That right has been established for more than half a century. Thirteen states (Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington) and the District of Columbia have adopted California’s greenhouse gas and zero-emission vehicle standards.

Then in 2019, the Trump Administration – through both NHTSA and EPA – took the unprecedented and unlawful step of declaring state greenhouse gas and zero-emission vehicle standards preempted under federal law and revoking that waiver. In today’s comments, EDF and its allies urged NHTSA to finalize a repeal of its part of the Trump Administration’s action.

EDF was joined on the comments by the Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Communities for a Better Environment, Conservation Law Foundation, Earthjustice, Consumer Federation of America, Environment America, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., Public Citizen, Inc., Sierra Club, and Union of Concerned Scientists.

You can read the full filing here.

While the Biden administration considers that matter, California is moving forward with the development of historic next generation multipollutant standards that will eliminate tailpipe pollution from cars, trucks and SUVs by 2035, reinforcing the importance of its longstanding role and authority under the Clean Air Act. EDF submitted technical comments to the state’s Air Resources Board today supporting a “rigorous and transformative” program that ensures all new passenger vehicles sold in California will be zero-emission by 2035. The Air Resources Board is expected to issue a proposed rule by Fall.

You can read EDF’s full comments here.

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 2.5 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund