Denver, Colorado (April 23, 2021) – Western Resource Advocates today praised the Biden administration’s commitment to begin restoration of states’ authority under the federal Clean Air Act to set standards stronger than federal vehicle pollution standards.
“This commitment to restore federal Clean Air Act provisions opens a path for states to move forward with adopting clean car standards that will help increase the number of electric vehicles on our roads and reduce the harmful fossil fuel emissions that cause climate change,” said Aaron Kressig, Western Resource Advocates’ transportation electrification manager. “Here in the West and across the nation, fossil-fueled transportation is a leading source of harmful air and climate pollution. State and federal policies that encourage zero-emission transportation will help communities reap the health, climate, and economic benefits of having more EVs on our roads.”
Across the Interior West, transportation is the second-largest source of carbon emissions, behind the electric power sector. Currently, electric vehicles emit two to five times less greenhouse gas pollution than gasoline powered vehicle in the Interior West, depending on the source of the electricity. As we transition to clean electricity resources across the region, the environmental benefits of transportation electrification are multiplied.
To date, 12 states, including Colorado, plus Washington, D.C., have adopted Zero Emission Vehicle standards. Minnesota, Nevada, and Virginia also are pursuing clean car programs.
The Biden administration’s action allows states to move forward with those standards and reverses rollbacks by the Trump administration in 2019 and 2020 that blocked states’ authority to set their own auto emissions rules.