Statement: White House moves to restore state authority over tailpipe pollution standards

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In April of 2020, the Trump administration along with the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced plans to roll back Federal Clean Air protections, including the long-standing ability of states to adopt stricter-than-federal vehicle emissions standards that protect public health.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration has announced it is proposing to reinstate states’ authority to adopt stronger tailpipe pollution standards under the Clean Air Act.

“The Biden-Harris Administration continues to follow through on its promise to move swiftly to get the U.S. back on track with its climate goals,” said Anjali Bains, Senior Clean Transportation Manager at Fresh Energy. “Beginning the process to restore states’ authority to adopt stricter vehicle emissions standards is a welcomed and vital step to getting Clean Cars Minnesota over the finish line.”

With this action, Minnesota, through the leadership of Governor Walz and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, moves closer to adopting clean car standards, a common-sense policy that lays the necessary foundation to combat climate change, reduce air pollution, and expand consumer choice of and access to electric vehicles.

Transportation is the number one source of climate pollution in both Minnesota and the U.S. Studies show that living with air pollution can lead to higher rates of heart and lung disease, especially among communities of color and under-resourced communities which are exposed to air pollution more so than the state average.

Fresh Energy, alongside a broad coalition of clean energy, climate, environmental, health, business, labor, and faith-based organizations, has been working for years to make clean car standards a reality in Minnesota. We are pleased to see a major obstacle at the federal level begin to be dismantled so that Minnesota and other states can continue to lead on decarbonizing our transportation sector.