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House energy and environmental coalition applauds EPA proposal to reduce vehicle emissions

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The House Sustainable Energy and Environmental Coalition (SEEC) favorably responded Wednesday to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal on greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicles sold in the United States.

SEEC members Reps. Doris Matsui and Yvette Clarke have been longtime champions of stronger vehicle emission standards and led 54 of their colleagues in a letter in February which encouraged the EPA to propose stringent emission standards on new vehicles.

“Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new greenhouse gas emission vehicle standards that would make the United States a global leader in the fight to cut vehicle emissions,” SEEC Leadership said Wednesday. “The transportation sector is responsible for more than a quarter of U.S. emissions, representing a major driver of the ongoing climate crisis. Slashing tailpipe emissions is one of the most effective ways to protect our families and communities from the worsening impacts of global warming.”

According to Matsui, the window is rapidly closing for the U.S. to meet its Paris Agreement goals and keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“California continues to lead the nation with the Advanced Clean Cars II standards, but we cannot do this alone. I am pleased to see the EPA has heeded our calls to enact aggressive national emission standards, taking into account the transformational investments in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act, which have significantly and rapidly altered the technological and economic landscape for zero-emission vehicles. I urge the EPA to finalize the strongest possible rule and to do so before the end of this year. The longer we wait to curb emissions, the harder and more costly it will be,” Matsui said.

Clarke said overcoming the climate crisis must be done at its root causes.

“I commend the EPA’s bold proposed strong national emission standards that will not only disrupt a significant source of America’s greenhouse gas emissions, but signal other nations to follow in our climate-forward footsteps. Through similar common-sense measures, we can reach our vital zero-emission goals — I look forward to continuing working alongside my colleagues in the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition and our allies in the EPA to achieve just that,” Clarke said.

The proposal is the EPA most ambitious yet in the fight against climate change, and seeks to transform the auto industry by imposing regulatory penalties on companies not moving quickly enough toward making electric vehicles.

The EPA estimates that 67 percent of new vehicles sold in 2032 will have to be electric if the proposal passes. The proposed standards would eliminate 7.3 billion tons of CO2 and reduce air pollution.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.