Colorado Becomes the 17th State to Join Clean Car Program

November 7, 2007
(Colorado – November 5, 2007). Today, Colorado became the 17th state to move forward with clean car standards that will lower global warming and smog pollution, reduce dependence on foreign oil and save consumers money at the pump. Colorado joins 16 other states taking action to adopt the innovative standards including: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington. These states account for nearly 50% of the total U.S. population.    

The decision was announced today by Colorado’s Governor Bill Ritter as part of a broad Colorado Climate Action Plan. Like other interior western states, water is the lifeline of Colorado’s growing economy. Climate change is predicted to disrupt historical precipitation and distribution patterns across the Rocky Mountain West. The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to Colorado’s global warming pollution. “Water is the lifeline of the West. Governor Ritter’s leadership will help protect Colorado’s economy and its environment from the harmful impacts of a changing climate,” said Vickie Patton, Environmental Defense Senior Attorney. “Colorado has joined our western neighbors – in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico – to pioneer cost-effective solutions to global warming.” 

On December 21, 2005, California submitted a request for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to waive the Clean Air Act’s preemption bar to cleaner car standards – an action EPA has consistently taken more than 50 times during the past 40 years. EPA’s waiver will clear the last regulatory hurdle to enforcement of the clean car program in states across the nation. But EPA’s foot-dragging on California’s request has prompted sharp bipartisan criticism from Governors across the country. This week the State of California is expected to file a lawsuit pressing EPA to make a decision on California’s waiver request so that it and other states like Colorado can implement clean cars laws.

Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members.  Since 1967, Environmental Defense has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems.