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March 1, 2022



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Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-07) and Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Alex Padilla (D-CA), sent a letter with 54 of their colleagues to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michael Regan,  urging the agency to swiftly issue new proposed rules for light- and heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards for model year 2027 and beyond. These rules are critical for the U.S. to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and protect environmental justice communities.

“There is no doubt that the burden of climate change disproportionately falls upon our most vulnerable populations in historically overburdened communities. We have a moral obligation to ensure our work to fight the climate crisis is centered around equity and championing environmental justice.. These standards will not only meet the Clean Air Act’s standards to protect public health and welfare, but position the U.S. as a leader in zero-emission vehicle technology development and manufacturing, provide high quality job creation, and  reduce burden on  frontline communities,” said Rep. Clarke.

“Communities living near vehicle traffic and trucking corridors breathe in especially high levels of pollution,” said Athena Motavvef, Earthjustice Legislative Representative. “With transportation being the leading sector of greenhouse gas emissions in the nation, we must move towards a zero-emission future. EPA must act now and issue the strongest rules possible that will protect communities from further harm.”

“Expanded federal investments in clean vehicles mean EPA can and must issue new tailpipe emissions standards for both cars and trucks that will both clean the air and address the climate crisis,” said Marc Boom, director of federal affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The strong support from members of Congress demonstrates that clean vehicles are not only good for the environment but good for our health, our economy and our pocketbooks.”

“The future of transportation is clean. Driving cleaner cars and trucks, including electric-powered vehicles, has real benefits for consumers, public health, and global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming pollution regulations for cars and trucks will be a critical opportunity to advance the equitable deployment of more zero-emission vehicles. We thank Representatives Yvette Clarke and Doris Matsui and their colleagues for their leadership in calling for strong policies, developed in concert with affected communities, that can help accelerate these innovative technologies,” said Steven Higashide, Clean Transportation Program Director, Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Now that historic investments in electric vehicles have jumpstarted transportation decarbonization, strong cars and trucks regulations are needed to finish the job,” said Darien Davis, LCV’s Government Affairs Advocate for Climate and Clean Energy. “We applaud these members of Congress for urging the Biden-Harris administration to enact the most stringent vehicle standards possible to deliver on our shared clean air and climate goals.”

The letter urges the EPA to issue these proposed rules by no later than the end of March and ensure the proposed rules align with U.S. commitments to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction under the Paris Climate Agreement, including: 

  • Reduce GHG emissions from new light-duty vehicles sold in 2030 by 75 percent compared to today’s new vehicles; 
  • ensure the light- and heavy-duty standards support greater zero-emission vehicle adoption by considering market growth expected from IRA and IIJA investments; 
  • put the nation on a trajectory to ensure 100 percent of all heavy-duty vehicles sold in 2035 are zero-emission vehicles, including pathway milestones assuring continuous progress; 
  • and reflect recently adopted state emissions standards, consistent with state authority under the Clean Air Act.

This letter is co-led by Reps. Doris Matsui (CA-07)and Senators Edward Markey (D-MA). Alex Padilla (D-CA).

Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Representatives Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Don Beyer (VA-08), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Troy Carter (LA-02), André Carson (IN-07), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Judy Chu (CA-28), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Mike Levin (CA-49), Ted Lieu (CA-36), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), Eleanor Norton (DC), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Scott Peters (CA-50), Brittany Pettersen (CO-07), Katie Porter (CA-47), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Mary Scanlon (PA-05), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Adam Schiff (CA-30), Adam Smith (WA-09), Darren Soto (FL-09), Dina Titus (NV-01), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Federica Wilson (FL-24) also joined the letter.

Last Congress, Rep. Clarke and Sen. Markey introduced the FREEZER (Fostering and Realizing Electrification by Encouraging Zero Emission Refrigeration) Trucks Act, which would combat the climate crisis and reduce local air pollution by creating a grant program at the EPA to electrify diesel-powered transport refrigeration units (TRUs) on commercial trucks and vans. Parts of Rep. Clarke’s legislation, the Electric Vehicles for Underserved Communities Act, were included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law in 2021. She sent a letter to New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner, Marie Therese Dominguez, to urge her to consider the needs of underserved and disadvantaged communities in the development and implementation of the first-of-its-kind EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan for New York State.

Read the full letter here.