Press Releases

Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla (both D-Calif.) today called on the Biden administration to fully transition the United States away from fossil fuels.

“It is our sincere hope that the administration takes meaningful action to fully transition away from fossil fuels,” the senators wrote. “This should include imposing standards for freight locomotives and on-road and off-road heavy-duty vehicles, as well as encouraging collaboration with international bodies and the private sector for shipping and aviation emissions. California’s low carbon fuel standard, new building electrification standards, reduced emissions from building materials and innovations in multi-modal transportation lead the nation in pragmatic climate strategies. It is in the nation’s – and the world’s – best interest that the federal government adopts what the state of California has done on a national level, and we stand ready to assist in those efforts.”

Full text of the letter is available here and follows:

March 29, 2022

The Honorable Michael Regan
Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460

The Honorable Pete Buttigieg
Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590

Dear Administrator Regan and Secretary Buttigieg:

We write to thank you for your action to recognize California’s Clean Air Act authority, which grants our state – and the 16 other states that presently follow us – the authority to set ambitious emissions standards. This important action will go a long way toward transitioning our economy to more sustainable transportation, improving our air quality, and meeting our shared climate goals. But the federal government must do more to transition from fossil fuels and confront the climate crisis by addressing emissions from locomotives, off-road vehicles, shipping, and aviation.

California has shown that aggressive standards for air pollutants and a strong economy can go hand-in-hand. While we are pleased with the EPA’s actions to increase federal greenhouse gas standards through 2026 and to propose heavy-duty truck emissions standards starting for model year 2027, these necessary actions alone are insufficient to reduce transportation-sector emissions to a level that would make achieving our climate change and equity goals feasible.

Importantly, it is our sincere hope that the Administration takes meaningful action to fully transition away from fossil fuels. This should include imposing standards for freight locomotives and on-road and off-road heavy-duty vehicles, as well as encouraging collaboration with international bodies and the private sector for shipping and aviation emissions. California’s low carbon fuel standard, new building electrification standards, reduced emissions from building materials, and innovations in multi-modal transportation lead the nation in pragmatic climate strategies. It is in the nation’s – and the world’s –

best interest that the federal government adopts what the State of California has done on a national level, and we stand ready to assist in those efforts.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector is also necessary to combat the toxic pollution and public health hazards that plague many of our children, families, and workers who live near ports and other freight transportation corridors. These environmental justice communities suffer disproportionately from high exposure to nitrogen oxide pollution and particulate matter, which causes an increase in cancer rates and mortality. We believe that the Administration must make reducing transportation-related emissions a top priority in order to further environmental justice and protect overburdened communities.

Once again, we would like to express our deep gratitude for our state-federal partnership and the work your agencies are doing to create a cleaner environment for all Americans. Without this partnership, these technological advancements and emissions reductions would have been significantly harder to achieve. We look forward to working together to continue that progress.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Alex Padilla
United States Senator

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