The announcement marks another step forward in standing up to the Trump administration in the fight against climate change.
While the Trump administration continues its attack against clean car standards, Canada and California today pledged to work together to advance cleaner vehicles and fuels. “Canada is joining with U.S. state leaders, automobile companies, union organizers, and drivers in recognizing that cutting vehicle emissions will address toxic air pollution and the climate crisis—while also reducing costs at the pump,” says Luke Tonachel, NRDC’s director of clean vehicles and fuels.
The two governments released a memorandum of understanding that acknowledges the urgency of the climate crisis and the important role of clean vehicles in reducing planet-warming emissions. It also notes the benefit of aligned standards and the sharing of pollution-reduction measures across a deeply integrated North American auto industry.
The Trump administration gutted Obama-era clean car and fuel-economy standards last year. The proposal abandons the annual fuel-efficiency increases central to the former rule, instead freezing clean car and fuel economy targets at model-year 2020 levels through 2026. The proposed rule also aims to prevent California from setting higher standards than the federal government—a significant reversal that will impact the 13 states now following California’s lead, which make up 40 percent of the auto market.
The Obama-era standards had been designed to save people money at the pump and support U.S. jobs, all while aiming to cut carbon pollution in half by 2025 and reduce the nation’s oil consumption by 2.4 million barrels per day by 2030. Public health would also improve by cutting dangerous air pollution.
“It’s only the Trump administration and its buddies in the oil industry,” Tonachel says, “who seem to think that halting progress is a good idea.”