SEEC Leaders encourage all automakers to join greenhouse gas pollution standards deal with California

Aug 15, 2019 Issues: Climate Change, Energy, Environment

Washington D.C. – Today the members of SEEC leadership, led by Co-Chair Rep. Doris Matsui, sent a letter to executives at 14 automotive companies expressing the importance that all automakers join the recently announced deal on vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards between California and four major automakers: Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW. 

The letter sent today reads in part:

“Our districts and the country as a whole need the auto industry to help us address climate change, and in the near-term that means a serious commitment to greenhouse gas reduction through emission reduction from vehicles…We encourage all automakers to come to the table and work towards pragmatic solutions that will better protect the planet while preventing years of litigation and economic uncertainty”

The letter below was sent to the Chief Executive Officers of the following automakers: Aston Martin, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota and Volvo. Signed copies of the letters to all automakers can be found here.

 

“As leaders of the House Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC), we hope you will join the recently announced agreement between the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and four major automakers – Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW. This agreement rejects the Administration proposal to flatline standards and ensures greenhouse gas emissions reductions in coming years. It is an important alternative to the Administration's proposal to gut public health protection, reduce climate pollution, and create regulatory uncertainty for automakers. Currently, the transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the United States and a significant source of criteria pollution that endangers public health.

“In May 2010, EPA and NHTSA finalized standards for light duty vehicles for model years (MY) 2012-2016 and in October of 2012, the two agencies updated the standards for MY 2017-2025. As recently as 2017, the EPA and NHTSA confirmed the standards are feasible, cost-effective, and achievable for the automakers after conducting a comprehensive midterm review. The agreement represented a compromise between the federal government, the state of California, labor partners, and automakers and was a signature component of our nation’s commitment to meeting goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement. These robust standards provide for one national program under which automakers can rely on industry consistency and American communities can count on improved air quality, cost-savings, and a safer future.

“Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has proposed rolling back these standards and issuing a replacement rule that will not only leave us more vulnerable to climate change and dangerous air pollution but will also cost consumers billions of dollars at the pump. For these reasons, we were pleased to see CARB and four automakers come to an agreement around vehicle emissions standards.

“In the recently announced agreement, the parties committed to improving fuel economy by 3.7% each year, with the ultimate goal of achieving 51 miles per gallon by MY 2026. While not on par with the Obama Administration standards, this agreement brings our transportation sector closer to the goals of the current standards while providing greater certainty for industry. Our districts and the country as a whole need the auto industry to help us address climate change, and in the near-term that means a serious commitment to greenhouse gas reduction through emission reduction from vehicles.

“This agreement builds upon progress already made with other key international players. For example, just last month, the state of California and Canada signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to share strategies on cutting greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and trucks, including information on mandates, incentives for buyers and car dealers, and approaches to building out additional electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

“It is obvious that the momentum, both domestic and international, is leading us toward cleaner and more efficient cars of the future. We encourage all automakers to come to the table and work towards pragmatic solutions that will better protect the planet while preventing years of litigation and economic uncertainty.

 

“Sincerely,”