N.J. can follow California’s tougher car emissions standards again, Biden administration says

Posted Apr 22, 2021

New Jersey once again would be allowed to follow tougher California standards for automobile emissions under a proposed rule announced Thursday.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration marked Earth Day by proposing to allow states to set their own standards once again. New Jersey is one of 13 states that follow California’s more stringent rules for emissions that Trump administration sought to pre-empt with a weaker one-size, fits-all federal standard.

“States have been leading the way, especially over the last four years, when it comes to cleaning up pollution and addressing climate change,” NHTSA Acting Administrator Steven Cliff said. “NHTSA’s proposed rule would remove unnecessary barriers to state leadership in regulating greenhouse gases and other air pollutants that spew from the tailpipes of cars.”

The action was part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s effort to combat climate change.

“The transportation sector is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases in our economy – which means it can and must be a big part of the climate solution,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “This proposed rule would be an important step towards protecting public health and combating climate change.”

New Jersey, California and 21 other states had gone to court in September 2019 to block the Trump administration’s new rule, which also froze fuel economy standards after 2021 at around 37 mpg rather than achieve fuel economy of 54 miles per gallon by 2025.

The automobile industry backed the higher standards in 2012 after then-President Barack Obama’s administration led the successful federal effort, over Republican objections, to rescue American car companies in danger of failing during the Great Recession.

While Trump claimed the lower standards would make cars cheaper, Consumer Reports estimated that the rollback would cost consumers $460 billion, or more than $3,300 over the life of a new motor vehicle bought in 2026. That’s the equivalent of a 63 cent per gallon gas tax, the publication said.

The Biden administration’s actions “will again empower states to save consumers money and protect their residents from greenhouse gases and other emissions,” Consumer Reports Vice President David Friedman said.

Do you like this post?

Showing 1 reaction

published this page in News and Politics 2021-04-23 03:46:56 -0700