Attorney General Bonta: More Stringent GHG Standards for Light Duty Vehicles Critical Step Forward in Fight Against Climate Change

Monday, December 20, 2021
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OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) today issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule adopting more stringent greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) standards for passenger cars and light trucks. Attorney General Bonta led a multistate coalition in urging the EPA to adopt such standards in September.

“Right now, with every action we take, we’re fighting for the future of our planet. It’s that simple,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Today’s announcement is an important step forward. The transportation sector still accounts for nearly one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. These standards are critical — for reducing emissions, for driving technological innovation, and for improving air quality and protecting public health. As the Biden Administration continues to drive our nation forward, I hope these standards are just the beginning. Because it's going to take all of us, doing our part, to tackle the climate crisis and save our planet.”

“Tackling emissions from the transportation sector is the most impactful step we can take to fight climate change, and I applaud the Biden Administration for this important step forward on the nation’s clean car leadership,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “As the fifth largest economy in the world, California will continue to use our market power to accelerate the transition to a zero-emission transportation future that will clean the air, protect the health of our most vulnerable communities and create high-quality jobs. We look forward to continuing our ongoing work with federal partners to develop strong vehicle emissions standards into the next decade.” 

“Today’s action sets the nation back on course to put the cleanest cars on our roads and highways,” said CARB Chair Liane Randolph. “These ambitious and necessary federal standards will clear the air and protect public health, especially for those most impacted by decades of pollution from fossil fuels. This is an important step  in our efforts to substantially accelerate the number of zero-emission cars needed to achieve California’s clean air and climate goals.”

Attorney General Bonta and CARB have 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 and CARB Chair Randolph 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 and CARB 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. More recently, Attorney General Bonta led a multistate coalition in urging the EPA to swiftly adopt strong regulations limiting oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from heavy-duty trucks.

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