Governor Carney Urges EPA to Reconsider Proposal to Freeze Vehicle Emission Standards

EPA plans to freeze fuel-economy requirements at 2020 levels

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its proposal to freeze federal vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency standards, and revoke the right of states to protect their citizens from harmful air pollution.

The proposal’s adoption would mean Delawareans breathe more polluted air while the state loses ground in the fight against climate change and sea level rise, and motorists pay more at the pump. EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced Thursday the proposal to roll back Light Duty Vehicle Standards which, in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fuel economy standards, require automakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the fuel economy of passenger vehicles.

EPA plans to freeze gas-mileage and fuel-economy requirements at 2020 levels, and remove California’s ability to determine its own vehicle regulations for greenhouse gas emissions. Rescinding California’s authority is particularly troubling because 12 states, including Delaware, and the District of Columbia, have adopted California’s more stringent emission standards, which help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Delaware is committed to expanding the ability of our citizens to choose clean vehicles,” said Governor Carney. “I urge the EPA and the Trump Administration to reevaluate this proposal, which impedes states’ rights and authority to improve air quality, and to consider the long-term economic and environmental impacts from a freeze on vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency standards. Delaware intends to fight this proposal, which would lead to serious setbacks in the state’s efforts to clean up our air and stimulate job creation through clean technology deployment.”

“EPA’s proposal would further thwart our efforts to achieve better air quality and, just like what Delawareans face in out-of-state pollution crossing our borders, would be detrimental to public health, and hurt Delawareans in our wallets, too,” said Shawn M. Garvin, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. “But whatever the outcome of EPA’s proposal, Delaware will continue to manage environmental programs and enact policies that foster transportation innovation and further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state.”

The State of Delaware adopted California’s Low Emission Vehicle standards in 2010.