Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
April 2, 2018
On EPA’s announced revisions to automobile emission standards:
“Consumers, manufacturers, public health, and the environment are all best served when Washington works in concert with states and automakers to set a clear pathway for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from America’s automobiles.
“Auto manufacturers have invested billions in a wide range of proven technologies that improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. These are the very innovations envisioned when the current vehicle standards were adopted. If properly crafted, modest adjustments to the standards could make cleaner cars more affordable to more consumers without compromising on environmental objectives. Automakers could, for instance, be granted more time to meet more ambitious standards.
“If EPA, however, is intent on weakening the federal standards, it must continue to respect states’ rights to enforce stronger ones. Congress explicitly allowed for a federalist approach in the implementation of the Clean Air Act. California and a dozen other states, which together comprise almost 40% of the U.S. light duty automobile market, have demonstrated their strong commitment to public health and climate protection. It would be a major mistake to discount these state goals in favor of litigation and uncertainty for America’s automobile manufacturers.
“Transportation is now the United States’ largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. To preserve U.S. leadership on low-carbon innovation, the federal government must work in coordination with the states to chart a common pathway that satisfies the needs of consumers and manufacturers and delivers the emission reductions we need. Starting down the road of confrontation benefits virtually no one.”