CARB Rejects Federal Emissions Proposal; NGV Advocates Weigh In

CARB, along with Gov. Jerry Brown, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, and New York, and 21 other attorneys general, has formally rejected the Trump administration’s proposal to loosen greenhouse gas emission standards and fuel efficiency rules. CARB warns that rolling back the rules would put the health of millions of Americans at risk and raise gasoline costs. CARB has filed a scathing 400-page legal and technical analysis of the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule, calling it “unsafe, unfounded, and illegal.”

NGVAmerica, the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, the American Gas Association, and the American Public Gas Association also responded, underscoring the need to cut back vehicle emissions. They also asked for expanded incentives for purchasing light-duty NGVs, suggesting provisions that account for the environmental benefit of NGVs and give manufacturers incentives to produce NGVs, helping the sector compete.

“This is a clear reminder that we all need to have a laser-like focus on reducing emissions from all vehicles as much as we can, as fast as we can,” said Coalition president Thomas Lawson. “Vehicles powered by near-zero-NOx natural gas engines are 90 percent cleaner than the newest diesel vehicles, and it’s an immediate solution.”

The EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly proposed in August rules that would freeze Obama-era clean car standards at their 2020 levels for six years. At the same time, the feds suggested that California would lose its ability to set more-stringent in-state rules. Since its initial proposal, the EPA has faulted CARB for failing to work with it to help find a 50-state solution for fuel efficiency standards.

In response, CARB wrote, “The future that the SAFE [Vehicles] Rule, or rollback, proposes is one in which greenhouse gases nearly double from today, further [exacerbating] catastrophic climate change. The proposed rollback will undermine California’s plans to meet federal and state air quality standards, along with those of other states.… Neither law, the evidence, nor basic decency support these choices.”