States and cities seeking to maintain clean car standards

Published: 2018.08.21

Nic Lutsey and Peter Slowik

On August 2nd, 2018 the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks. 

The proposal would essentially hold the 2020 standards for new vehicles in place indefinitely. According to official federal analyses, the rollback will result in 73 billion gallons more gasoline bought by U.S. drivers and 800 million tons more carbon dioxide emissions. In contrast, the final rule adopted under the Obama Administration requires a 3%-4% increase in efficiency and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per mile per year through 2025. 

This fact sheet summarizes the states that have adopted stronger emissions regulations beyond the federal standard and intend to litigate, as well as additional jurisdictions that have publicly opposed the proposed revisions to the standards. 

Based on the positions as of August 14, 2018, state and city commitments to cleaner cars represent over half – 55% – of the U.S. auto market. The opposition from states and cities is due to their obligations to provide clean air and mitigate the worst consequences of climate change for their citizens. These jurisdictions’ continued opposition virtually ensures the proposed rollback to the vehicle standards will be tied up in courts for years. This will cause great uncertainty for automakers, which face the prospect of either planning to comply with the existing rules or halting progress towards cleaner and more efficient cars.

State and cities with existing clean cars standards or opposing the Trump vehicle regulation rollback

States and cities opposing rollback of clean car standards
Among the 400+ cities, the 25 largest markets outside the identified states are labeled. For details, see Fact Sheet.