OAKLAND — Leading a coalition of 26 States and Cities, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced today that he has submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria pollutant standards for light- and medium-duty highway vehicles model years 2027 through 2032. While EPA’s proposal would lead to measurable progress — a 56 percent reduction in GHG emissions levels from the model year 2026 levels for light-duty vehicles, and a 44 percent reduction in GHG emissions levels from the model year 2026 levels for medium-duty vehicles — Attorney General Bonta urges EPA to move forward with more stringent GHG and criteria pollutant standards, which technological advancements make feasible nationwide. Light- and medium-duty vehicles include passenger cars, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), pickup trucks, and vans.
“Under the Biden Administration, EPA is once again taking seriously our moral and legal obligation to address climate change and air pollution,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Precisely for that reason, our coalition is asking EPA to adopt standards more stringent than its proposed standards. This July 4th was the warmest day ever recorded worldwide — it should serve as a wake-up call. We can and we must meet the moment.”
The transportation sector is the largest source of GHG emissions in the United States, with light-duty vehicles being the largest contributor within that sector. In addition, light- and medium-duty vehicles are a significant source of non-GHG pollutants that detrimentally affect air quality. Both the impacts of climate change and poor air quality disproportionately harm environmental justice communities.
In their letter, the attorneys general and cities:
In submitting the comment letter, Attorney General Bonta is joined by the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin; the People of the State of Michigan; the Commonwealths of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania; and the Cities of Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, and Oakland.
A copy of the comment letter is available here. On June 19, 2023, Attorney General Bonta submitted a similar comment letter to EPA regarding its proposed GHG standards for heavy-duty vehicles.