Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on reports that the administration will try to revoke California’s legal authority to set state vehicle emissions standards:
“The Clean Air Act clearly gives California the legal authority to set vehicle emissions standards. By revoking that authority, the administration is eliminating a tool that is reducing emissions, improving vehicle mileage standards and saving consumers $460 billion at the pump.
“Even automakers don’t support eliminating California’s authority to set emissions standards. Four major automakers have already agreed to establish stricter fuel economy standards in an agreement with California.
“This administration is intent on gutting all the environmental gains we’ve already achieved. But we can’t allow that to happen. We’re facing a climate emergency, and the effects are already evident all around us, from severe droughts to record-breaking wildfires to more powerful hurricanes.
“I trust that this action will be blocked in court and California be allowed to continue setting emissions standards as is the state’s right under the law.”
- Under the Clean Air Act, California has unique authority to set its own tailpipe emissions, which 13 other states and the District of Columbia have followed. Prior to the Trump administration, the federal government worked with California to establish increasing fuel efficiency benchmarks.
- In response to letters Senator Feinstein led with 29 of her colleagues, several automakers have indicated they’re reviewing the details of the recent agreement between California and Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen, and may join the agreement. This shows that automakers do not want this authority eliminated.
- Senator Feinstein was the lead sponsor of the bipartisan Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act. The bill, passed in 2007, requires the administration to set the maximum feasible fuel economy standards, which are currently scheduled to increase to more than 50 mpg by 2025.
- Last year Senator Feinstein joined Senator Harris in introducing a Senate resolution supporting a single set of national fuel economy standards and recognizing California’s authority to set strong emissions standards.