On January 27, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the strongest clean car standards in the nation. These new standards will protect public health, save consumers money at the pump, and decrease carbon pollution. By 2025, when the rules will be fully implemented new automobiles will emit 34 percent fewer carbon emissions and 75 percent fewer smog-forming emissions, as well as save an average of $6,000 in fuel over the life of the car.
Some 80 persons gave public comments at the CARB hearing on January 26, which was held at the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles. The Clean Cars Standards received wide support from public health, faith, environmental and legislative sectors. Senator De Leon testified to the public health and economic benefits of the Standards.
The Standards received support from auto manufacturers, which were appreciative of the built-in flexibility of the “over-compliance” provision. This provision grants auto manufacturers who comply with greenhouse gas limits by 2018 some flexibility in the amount of clean vehicles to produce between 2018 and 2021. This provision was deemed too liberal by several organizations that were concerned that it would lead to a backwards slide in clean cars. CARB Chairman Mary Nichols explained that the idea was to capture a wide range of support from multiple sectors and that CARB staff stated that the over-compliance flexibility would give car manufacturers time to develop new and creative clean cars technologies.
In her public comments, CIPL staff member Allis Druffel highlighted the support of the faith community citing principles that all major faith traditions hold in terms of protecting Creation: protecting air quality and health; working for a healthy economy; transitioning to a clean energy future; and mitigating climate change. CIPL submitted a letter signed by ten faith organizations, and an e-letter signed by 159 faith advocates, which are now part of the public record.
Thank you to all 159 faith advocates who sent in a letter of support for these historic clean cars standards!