SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and fifteen of his Senate colleagues sent a letter today urging U.S. EPA Director Scott Pruitt to keep existing federal clean car standards in place. This comes on the heels of Pruitt’s threats last week to pull regulations that are critical to advancing California’s climate and clean air objectives.
“We write to express our strong opposition to the proposals made public this week to roll back the federal Clean Car and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards currently in effect and adopted under the prior administration as part of securing the financial solvency of the major automotive companies back in the year 2011.
“The rollback of these standards makes no sense, environmentally or economically. The weakening of these standards will endanger public health, cost billions more to taxpayers in the form of increased incidences of asthma, cardio-pulmonary problems and other diseases. It will accelerate and exacerbate global climate change and its severe impacts such as fires, flooding, sea level rise, and other impacts.
“If anything, we should be strengthening these standards, not weakening them. Our car companies are spending billions of dollars in factories and technologies to create more efficient, clean cars. Those investments will be stranded on the balance sheets of the car companies if the US backtracks on the current formula.
“California has some of the most ambitious clean energy and transportation policies in the world. At the same time, and as a result of these policies (not in spite of them), California has an economy larger and more productive than almost every other economy in the world. The Administration’s proposals will move California, the nation, and the planet backward, not forward.”
The following members of the California State Senate signed on to the letter: Senator Kevin de León, Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park), and Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego).