Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

Trump’s Revocation of California’s Authority to Set Emissions Standards is an Attack on Consumers and American Federalism

14 States Representing over 118 million Americans Will Lose the Ability to Save Consumers Money and Protect Their Health

Washington, D.C. – “Revoking the right of states to adopt a more stringent emissions standard guaranteed under the Clean Air Act since 1975, completely disregards the will of over 118 million Americans in the fourteen states and the public, who have chosen to bring cleaner, cost-saving, fuel efficient cars to their communities,” said Jack Gillis, Executive Director of CFA.  “These states have provided vital leadership in advancing the higher standards supported by a majority of the public.”

“It is inconceivable that the President is arbitrarily revoking a regulatory program that is supported by an amazingly diverse group of stakeholders including consumers, automakers, business groups, unions, national defense experts, public health advocates and environmentalists.  Recent events in the Middle East demonstrate that foreign oil impacts gas prices and the President’s move to increase U.S. gas consumption is patently irresponsible.”

“By taking away this critically important state authority, President Trump will simultaneously increase consumers’ costs at the pump, make U.S. vehicles less competitive, and throw America in reverse when it comes to a cleaner environment.  Already 4 major car companies have voluntarily signed onto an emissions agreement with California and more are likely to sign on.  Now is not the time to put the brakes on a remarkable opportunity to protect consumers, car companies and our country,” said Gillis.  “We look forward to working with California to expand car maker participation in their voluntary program.  A consensus national standard through the California waiver preserves states’ rights and allows them to exercise leadership that meets the public’s need for more fuel efficient vehicles.”

For more than ten years, CFA has supported California’s Clean Cars Program and the ability of other states to adopt it. A CFA poll in August 2018 showed a majority of consumers believe that states should be able to lead when the federal government doesn’t and support the ability of states to adopt a higher standard. (ORC, August 2018, 3.1% +/- margin of error.)  “One of the great benefits of American federalism is that individual states can discover better ways of accomplishing shared goals.  What is particularly elegant about the waiver in the Clean Air Act is that it enables states to choose comply with Federal standards or adopt the more stringent California standards while avoiding fragmentation into fifty individual state standards,” said Gillis.