Western Resource Advocates today praised Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s announcement that his administration is beginning a rulemaking process for the state to adopt Clean Car Standards and join more than a dozen other states that have committed to reducing greenhouse gas pollution from vehicle emissions.
“Adoption of Clean Car Standards in Nevada would increase electric vehicle sales in the state and serve as a catalyst not only for deep reductions in damaging climate pollution, but also significant reductions in local hazardous air pollution,” said Cameron Dyer, Clean Energy Program staff attorney for Western Resource Advocates, in Nevada. “In this time of pandemic, we realize now more than ever the importance of clean air for our health. Fostering greater electric vehicle use also would create economic savings for consumers across Nevada, particularly as we look forward to recovering from the economic downturn due to COVID-19, since electric vehicles have lower fuel and maintenance costs.”
Fossil-fueled vehicles are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Nevada. Creating Clean Car Standards to reduce those emissions and harmful air pollution would involve two steps: adopting Low-Emission Vehicle standards and instituting a Zero-Emission Vehicles program. The Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards require automakers to deliver new vehicles to Nevada that emit fewer greenhouse gases and harmful air pollutants. The Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program would require automakers to deliver more vehicles that emit no tailpipe emissions, such as fully electric vehicles.
Air pollution from fossil-fueled vehicles in Nevada contributes to an array of respiratory problems, particularly for children and the elderly, and recent studies have associated poor air quality with higher COVID-19 death rates. Low-income communities and communities of color often live near major sources of pollution such as highways and industrial facilities, and those communities have been disproportionately affected by health problems related to fossil-fueled vehicle emissions. The 2020 State of the Air report from the American Lung Association gave Clark and Washoe Counties an F grade for ozone pollution. The Las Vegas valley was ranked as the 9th most polluted in the country for ozone, and vehicle emissions are a primary cause.