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Cleaner Air Partnership Tracking EPA's Moves on Vehicle Emissions

The Sacramento region’s longstanding Cleaner Air Partnership, anchored by Valley Vision, Breathe California Sacramento Region, and the Sacramento Metro Chamber, has been keeping an eye on the Trump Administration’s moves to potentially roll back vehicle emissions standards.

Sources claim that the U.S. Department of Transportation has drafted a proposal to freeze vehicle requirements at 2020 levels through 2026, pulling the plug on progressive emissions requirements put in place by the Obama Administration, and adopted by California leaders. In a region heavily impacted by vehicular, or “mobile source” pollutants, this could deal immense damage to public health and economic vitality in communities across the 7-County Sacramento region.

Alberto Ayala, Executive Director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD), penned an Op-Ed in the Sacramento Bee on this very subject last month, when it became apparent that the EPA was seriously considering these changes. “Rolling back the standards ignores reality – cleaner, more efficient cars are already abundant on our roads — and wastes large investments by automakers. Beyond innovations to gasoline engines, electric vehicles are improving battery life and charging times. And hydrogen fuel cell cars are coming up fast right behind. These advances are reflected in growing sales in California and other leading markets. Electric cars are the superior, no-compromise, and cheat-proof alternative to combustion.”

Erik White, Air Pollution Control Officer for the County of Placer, echoed these concerns. “Cooperative federalism does not abdicate EPA from its responsibilities to protect public health and address climate change. The federal government cannot selectively choose when it wants to support state’s rights and take when it wants to abrogate them. EPA must stay the course on the technologically feasible light duty standards already on the books such that it supports American leadership on automotive standards and the right of California to enact its own standards when necessary.”

These and other experts at the Cleaner Air Partnership will keep you apprised of this conversation as it develops. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to Valley Vision’s Clean Economy newsletter, share this piece through your networks, or email me if you want to be involved in clean air efforts (or know someone who does). Join us! Together we can ensure a more healthy, prosperous, and equitable Sacramento region.


Adrian Rehn is a Valley Vision Project Manager overseeing the Cleaner Air Partnership and Valley Vision’s online communications.

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