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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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July 6, 2021


Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a multistate coalition, today expressed support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to restore California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act for its greenhouse gas and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) programs. Raoul and the coalition submitted a comment letter to the EPA also supporting the agency’s proposal to rescind its previous determination that Section 177 of the Clean Air Act does not authorize other states to adopt California’s greenhouse gas standards for passenger cars and light trucks. California’s standards, which already result in emissions reductions of hundreds of thousands of tons annually, are essential to fight climate change and protect public health.

“California’s greenhouse gas standards play a vital role in limiting emissions that harm the public, air quality and contribute to climate change,” Raoul said. “I urge the EPA to restore this waiver and allow states to implement policies to prevent pollution and protect public health and the environment.”

Since adopting vehicle emission standards 60 years ago, California has been granted more than 100 waivers, including in 2013 when the EPA granted a waiver for the state’s Advanced Clean Car program. In 2019, the EPA withdrew California’s waiver to set its own greenhouse gas and ZEV standards, which Raoul and a multistate coalition swiftly challenged in court. Litigation in that case is currently stayed to permit the current EPA to reconsider.

In the comment letter, Raoul and the attorneys general note California’s clean car standards have been adopted by 13 states representing more than one-third of the U.S. automobile market and are under consideration in a number of others. These standards, which have been implemented in some states for more than a decade, are essential components of those states’ plans to reduce emissions and attain federally-mandated National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter and ozone – two pollutants which cause significant adverse health impacts. According to a California Air Resources Board analysis, California’s Advanced Clean Car Program, of which its greenhouse gas and ZEV standards are critical components, is expected to result in a 75% reduction in smog-forming pollution and a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for an average car sold in 2025 as compared to 2012, when the program was adopted. These standards are crucial for reducing emissions to mitigate threats from climate change, and they drive technological innovation that will enable deeper emissions reductions of all of these harmful pollutants in the future.

Joining Raoul in filing the comment letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin, and the cities of Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland, California, San Francisco, and San Jose, California.

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