Attorney General Bonta: Biden Administration Restores California’s Waiver for Clean Car Standards in Victory for All

Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final action restoring California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act for its greenhouse gas (GHG) and zero-emission vehicle programs. California led multistate litigation during the Trump Administration defending California’s longstanding authority to set its own vehicle emission standards.

“Today’s announcement by the Biden Administration reaffirming California’s authority to require significant reductions in harmful emissions from new motor vehicles is a victory for Californians, a victory for the nation, and a victory for the planet,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Right now, we are standing on the edge of a cliff, and every day that we don't act, we come a little bit closer to falling over the edge. If we're going to tackle the climate crisis, we're all going to have to do our part. And California's standards — which have been adopted by 15 states and counting — are some of the best tools we have to reduce emissions, drive technological innovation, and protect public health.”

Attorney General Bonta has pushed the Biden Administration to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and to reaffirm California's authority to do the same. This summer, Attorney General Bonta testified and later submitted comments urging the EPA to restore California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act for its GHG and zero-emission vehicle standards. The Attorney General also led a coalition in urging NHTSA to repeal a Trump-era rule, known as the “Preemption Rule,” that purported to preempt California’s GHG and zero-emission vehicles standards. On December 21, 2021, NHTSA announced a repeal of that rule. More recently, Attorney General Bonta led a multistate coalition in urging the EPA to adopt more stringent GHG standards for light-duty vehicles for model years 2021-2026, and intervened to defend these standards after they were finalized.

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