Mark DeSaulnier

09/18/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/18/2019 12:30

Congressman DeSaulnier Leads Effort to Condemn Trump Administration’s Cancellation of California’s Longstanding Clean Air Act Waiver and Impending Rollback of Fuel Economy[...]

Washington, DC - Today, in response to the Trump Administration's announcement that it will cancel California's longstanding Clean Air Act waiver, Congressman DeSaulnier (CA-11) announced that he will introduce a resolution to condemn the move and the Administration's impending rollback of Obama-era fuel economy standards. The resolution, supported by a coalition of 57 Democratic Members, demonstrates multi-state support for the existing federal clean car standards and states' right to adopt California's more stringent standards. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has authored a similar resolution in the Senate. The resolution is supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Sierra Club.

'Since 1970-through both Republican and Democratic Administrations-California has led the nation and the world in setting and achieving lofty goals to combat the effects of climate change and protect public health,' said Congressman DeSaulnier. 'The Trump Administration's move to strip California and more than a dozen other states of their ability to decrease auto emissions is backwards and illegal. As a former member of the California Air Resources Board and a longtime advocate for addressing climate change, I will not sit back and let the Administration destroy the progress California has made on behalf of our country.'

'It is simply wrong for this administration to deny the threat posed by the climate crisis and roll back the environmental protections that keep our air and water clean,' said Senator Harris. 'I'm proud to stand with my colleagues against this blatant and political attempt to target California's ability to set its own standards and lead the fight against climate change. Our children and our grandchildren are counting on us to take action to keep our environment healthy and protect their futures.'

'As the climate crisis escalates, more states are looking to strong vehicle standards to cut emissions and save consumers billions at the pump. The law is clear-California can set emissions standards and other states can adopt those standards. We applaud Senator Kamala Harris and Representative Mark DeSaulnier for introducing this resolution that recognizes and defends state authority,' said Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists.

'The clean car standards are already saving our families billions at the pump, supporting nearly 300,000 American jobs, and cleaning up dangerous tailpipe pollution,' said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, Chief Program Officer of the Natural Resources Defense Council. 'Members of Congress should join with these leaders to try and stop the Trump administration from throwing this important progress into reverse.'

The Clean Air Act waiver was first enacted in 1970 and allows California to adopt its own emissions standards so long as they are at least as stringent as the federal standard. In 1977, other states were allowed to adopt California's emissions standards. In revoking California's waiver, the Administration prevents California and 13 other states from creating their own standards to help reduce harmful pollutants and slow the progression of climate change.

Under the Obama Administration, federal fuel economy standards were made comparable to those set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), thereby creating the current One National Program. The CARB standards have since been adopted by 13 other states, accounting for over 35 percent of the U.S. auto market, and are on track to reduce America's oil dependence by more than 2 million barrels a day - effectively eliminating the impact of 59 million vehicles from the road by 2030. The Administration's impending rollback of these fuel standards could undo what some deem to be the country's most important climate achievement-the doubling of vehicle fuel efficiency to about 55 miles per gallon by 2025.

In response to the Trump Administration's announcement of its intent to roll back current fuel standards in 2018, Congressman DeSaulnier and Senator Harris introduced a similar resolution. Congressman DeSaulnier also urged California's public retirement funds to divest from companies that participate in the rollback, led a group of Democratic Members from California in echoing his call for public divestment, and called on automobile manufactures to clarify how they will respond to such a rollback. In October of 2017, DeSaulnier sent a letter to then-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt urging the Administration to maintain and strengthen current standards.

DeSaulnier served on CARB for 10 years, was Chair of the transportation committees in the California State Assembly and Senate, and is currently a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The resolution is currently supported by Representatives Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Karen Bass (CA-37), Ami Bera (CA-07), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Julia Brownley (CA-26) Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Ed Case (HI-01), Sean Casten (IL-06), Judy Chu (CA-27), Gilbert Ray Cisneros Jr. (CA-39), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Jim Costa (CA-16), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Susan Davis (CA-53), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), John Garamendi (CA-03), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Katie Hill (CA-25), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Mike Levin (CA-49), Ted Lieu (CA-33) Dan Lipinski (IL-03), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-45), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Harley Rouda (CA-48), Bobby Rush (IL-01), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Thomas Suozzi (NY-03), Mark Takano (CA-41), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Norma Torres (CA-35), and Peter Welch (VT-AL).