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Washington September 18, 2019 – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the announcement that President Trump will revoke California’s authority to set strict vehicle emission standards:

“The president’s decision to end California’s authority to set higher vehicle emission standards is bad for California and it’s bad for the country.

“For 50 years California has had the authority to set its own standards, as specifically allowed by the Clean Air Act. Because of California’s influence, our country’s higher standards have resulted in 550 million fewer barrels of oil, $65 billion less spent at the gas pump and 250 million fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“Revoking California’s authority will lead not only to more pollution, it will cost consumers billions of dollars a year in increased fuel consumption.

“Consumers don’t want this change. Car companies don’t want this change. It appears the only reason the administration is doing this is to punish California for its forward-thinking and effective environmental agenda.

“I strongly support California Attorney General Becerra’s decision to file a lawsuit to stop this ill-advised move. We need to be doing more, not less, to fight climate change. I’m proud of the work I’ve done to increase fuel economy and I refuse to let this president unwind it to line the pockets of his political supporters.”

Background

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  • Under the Clean Air Act, California has unique authority to set its own tailpipe emissions, which are also followed by 13 other states and Washington, D.C. Prior to the Trump administration, the federal government worked with California to establish increasing fuel efficiency benchmarks.
  • In response to letters Senator Feinstein led with 29 of her colleagues, several automakers have indicated they’re reviewing the details of the recent agreement between California and Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen, and may join the agreement. This shows that automakers do not want this authority eliminated.
  • Senator Feinstein was the lead sponsor of the bipartisan Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act. The bill, which passed in 2007, requires the administration to set the maximum feasible fuel economy standards, which are currently scheduled to increase to more than 50 mpg by 2025.
  • Last year Senator Feinstein joined Senator Harris in introducing a Senate resolution supporting a single set of national fuel economy standards and recognizing California’s authority to set strong emissions standards.