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NESCAUM Response to the Rollback of Federal Motor Vehicle GHG and CAFE Standards

March 31, 2020

Statement of Paul J. Miller, Executive Director
Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management

Today the Trump Administration announced a final rule to roll back federal light-duty motor vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits and corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards – carrying through on its pledge to reverse the course of the nation’s most important climate program.

Across the country, the transportation sector is now the single largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a major contributor to smog, particulate matter, and toxic air pollutants that endanger public health. The “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule,” finalized today over the objections of states, automakers, and consumers, will increase emissions of GHGs and other dangerous pollutants, cost consumers more at the pump, and place the auto industry at a competitive disadvantage in world markets.

This latest action follows the Trump Administration’s announcement in September 2019 that it is revoking California’s authority to set more stringent GHG standards and zero-emission vehicle requirements – a direct and unprecedented attack on well-established state authority conferred by Congress under the Clean Air Act that has been upheld by federal courts.

The continued absence of federal leadership means that state action remains more important than ever. Our states intend to mount a forceful defense against the rollback of the federal GHG standards and the attack on state authority to protect the public health and welfare. In partnership with California, our states will continue to play a leadership role in the effort to decarbonize the transportation sector and curb emissions of other harmful air pollutants from cars and trucks.


The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) is a nonprofit multistate association of the eight state air quality agencies in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. NESCAUM provides scientific, technical, analytical, and policy support to the air quality and climate programs of its air agency members, including assistance with the implementation of national environmental programs required under the Clean Air Act and other federal legislation.

Contact: Paul J. Miller
NESCAUM Executive Director

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