In 2005, Climate Solutions helped lead the Clean Cars legislative campaign to align Washington’s tailpipe pollution standards with those of California. I was blessed to be on staff at that time and did a lot of the same work I do now: engaging all of you and collaborating with many other organizations toward that collective success.
Thirteen other states, including Oregon, followed our states' lead and ultimately, the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) increased the nation’s fuel efficiency standards.
Our region was at the forefront of the movement that has led to vehicles that are 23 percent more fuel efficient overall. It’s a win win win– better air quality, better health and more dollars saved for consumers and commercial drivers at the gas pump.
The American Lung Association and twelve other public health organizations have all underscored the importance of maintaining protective clean cars standards. And while consumer choice and innovation have been the game changers, smart federal policy has pushed us towards more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration's disregard for addressing climate change and states’ rights to protect people from its catastrophic effects is on full display. The Clean Air Act, a signature policy for President Reagan, gave states the right to set higher tailpipe emission standards, and we and 13 other states, plus Washington DC, did just that.
But President Trump, his EPA, and his oil industry allies are out on a limb. Automakers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, most consumers, environmentalists, and public health groups want strong clean car standards. They also support states’ rights to clean our air by reducing vehicle pollution and are asking the Trump administration to work with states so we can continue to clean up our air and save families money at the pump.
Twenty-four governors from both sides of the aisle – representing 52 percent of the nation’s population and 57 percent of the U.S. economy – have signed onto the Nation’s Clean Car Promise to affirm their support for strong clean car standards and preserving state authority.
Let’s stand together to ensure that the Pacific Northwest can continue to align with other states and jurisdictions to drive innovation while protecting our health and making inroads to reduce climate change pollution.