California and States Representing Over 40 Percent of U.S. Car Market Sue to Defend National Clean Car Rules

SACRAMENTO – Moving to curb toxic air pollution and improve car gas mileage, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the California Air Resources Board today announced California is leading an 18-state coalition to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to preserve the nation’s single vehicle emission standard.

“The states joining today’s lawsuit represent 140 million people who simply want cleaner and more efficient cars,” said Governor Brown. “This phalanx of states will defend the nation’s clean car standards to boost gas mileage and curb toxic air pollution.”

“The evidence is irrefutable: today’s clean car standards are achievable, science-based and a boon for hardworking American families. But the EPA and Administrator Scott Pruitt refuse to do their job and enforce these standards,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Enough is enough. We’re not looking to pick a fight with the Trump Administration, but when the stakes are this high for our families’ health and our economic prosperity, we have a responsibility to do what is necessary to defend them.”

“The standards we are fighting to protect were adopted in 2012 and don’t take effect until 2022. They were a lifeline thrown to an industry that was in trouble and desperate for stability. They were based on the best judgment of engineers about what technology could achieve. And in fact they are being achieved today, years ahead of the deadlines, because of the good work of the auto industry,” said California Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols. “But now Administrator Pruitt, based on no new information or facts, wants to roll back all that progress in the name of deregulation. The Final Determination is just the first step but it is intended to provide the legal basis for a decision that has already been made: to halt the progress that regulators and industry have made toward a new generation of vehicles. It does not withstand scrutiny and it will not stand.”

Today’s lawsuit, which was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, seeks to set aside and hold unlawful the U.S. EPA’s effort to weaken the existing clean car rules. The lawsuit is based on the fact that the U.S. EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously, failed to follow its own regulations and violated the Clean Air Act.

Beginning in 2010, the U.S. EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and California Air Resources Board established a single national program of greenhouse gas emissions standards for model year 2012-2025 vehicles. This program allows automakers to design and manufacture to a single target. The rules save drivers money at the pump, cut oil consumption, reduce air pollution and curb greenhouse gases.

Last year, the U.S. EPA affirmed these standards were appropriate based on an extensive record of data. The California Air Resources Board also affirmed the standards were appropriate and that the federal government should continue to support a single national program for all states.

On April 13, 2018, however, the U.S. EPA, without evidence to support the decision, arbitrarily reversed course and claimed that the clean car standards for model years 2022-2025 should be scrapped. The federal government offered no evidence to support this decision and the forthcoming rulemaking intended to weaken the existing 2022-2025 standards.

The federal standard the states are suing to protect is estimated to reduce carbon pollution equivalent to 134 coal power plants burning for a year, and save drivers $1,650 per vehicle. The car industry is on track to meet or exceed these standards.

The 18 jurisdictions joining today’s legal action represent approximately 43 percent of the U.S. automobile market and approximately 140 million people: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Last year, Governor Brown wrote a letter to the U.S. EPA Administrator to defend the existing emission standard.

A copy of the petition for review is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.

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Governor Cuomo Commends Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

For Immediate Release: 4/6/2018

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo released the following statement after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a call for information and nominations to identify additional wind energy areas in the New York Bight off New York's Atlantic Coast, supporting Governor Cuomo's Offshore Wind Master Plan to obtain 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.

"New York has made an unparalleled commitment to expanding offshore wind and leading in the clean energy economy, and I commend the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for supporting our efforts to develop a cleaner, more prosperous future.

"In New York, we are proud to have a nation-leading mandate to generate 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy sources. To advance our clean energy goals, we are undertaking one of the largest offshore wind development plans in the country, which will power 1.2 million New York homes and create 5,000 good-paying jobs.

"While New York welcomes BOEM's support in advancing our offshore wind plan, I remain deeply concerned by the federal government's proposal to allow new offshore oil and gas drilling off our shores. New York has formally requested to be excluded from this offshore drilling plan, and we believe offshore wind is a better direction for our economy, for our environment and for our energy future."

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Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov
New York State | Executive Chamber |press.office@exec.ny.gov | 518.474.8418

Hogan Administration Urges EPA to Drop Plan to Weaken Vehicle Air Pollution Emissions Standards

For immediate release: 
April 4, 2018
Contact:
Shareese Churchill shareese.churchill@maryland.gov
410-974-2316

Hogan Administration Urges EPA to Drop Plan to Weaken Vehicle Air Pollution Emissions Standards
Governor Calls on Federal Agency to Leave Current Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards in Place

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Due to the known effects of increased air pollution on public health and the environment, as well as the potential for higher costs to consumers, Governor Larry Hogan is calling on federal environmental regulators to drop plans to weaken vehicle emissions standards. The Hogan administration is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to leave the current greenhouse gas emissions standards for light-duty vehicles in place and to allow states like Maryland to continue to adopt vehicle emissions standards that are more protective than federal standards.

“Maryland has made significant progress in improving our air quality in recent years, and we are a leader in fighting the effects of climate change. That progress would be jeopardized by any weakening of vehicle emissions standards,” said Governor Hogan. “We strongly urge the EPA to drop their plans to weaken vehicle emissions standards, and we call on the agency to allow our state to continue to adopt strong standards to protect the air that Marylanders breathe.”

“Maryland is a recognized leader in fighting the effects of climate change, and the Hogan administration opposes efforts to weaken our forward progress on clean cars and a healthy environment,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “We will use the law and other tools to block rollbacks. EPA should be supporting state and regional actions to cut greenhouse gases and interstate smog.”

Maryland’s opposition to EPA’s announced decision to move toward weakening national greenhouse gas emissions standards for model year 2022-2025 light-duty vehicles was expressed in a multi-state letter sent this week to the federal agency. Secretary Grumbles was among the state environmental officers who signed that letter, which strongly urges EPA to leave the current greenhouse gas emissions standards in place. The letter also calls for EPA to allow states such as Maryland to continue to adopt their own vehicle emissions standards under a provision of the federal Clean Air Act.

The current emissions standards were established through a technical analysis by the federal government, states, and the automotive industry, which supported the standards when adopted in 2012. The current standards are designed to offer manufacturers the flexibility to build vehicles to meet consumer demand while still meeting environmental standards.

The greenhouse gas reductions that would come from the emissions standards are necessary for Maryland to meet its requirement under state law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. Transportation accounts for about a third of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Maryland is a leading member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and is part of the bipartisan U.S. Climate Alliance, which also has stated its opposition to EPA’s decision.

Any weakening of vehicle emissions standards would also increase pollutants such as ground-level ozone and lead to adverse public health and environmental effects. Under Governor Hogan’s leadership, Maryland adopted regulations to reduce pollution from the state’s coal fired power plants. Maryland is also suing the EPA to require the agency to take action to reduce emissions from power plants in upwind states that pollute Maryland’s air.

Maryland adopted the California Clean Cars Program in 2007. Governor Hogan’s environmental agenda for the 2017 legislative session included introduction of the Clean Cars Act of 2017. That legislation, which passed and was signed into law by the governor, extends and increases incentives for buying plug-in electric vehicles and providing the supporting infrastructure.

Additionally, any weakening of vehicle emissions standards will have an economic impact on consumers by costing them more at the pump. Reducing emissions standards means increasing the amount of fuel consumers will need to purchase.

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Baker-Polito Administration Files Legislation to Improve Residents’ Access to Home Energy Information

Bill Will Support Consumer Choice and Increase Energy Efficiency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/03/2018

BOSTON — Building on the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering energy costs, Governor Charlie Baker today filed legislation to ensure homeowners and prospective homebuyers have access to information about the anticipated energy efficiency characteristics of residences and recommended cost-effective energy efficiency improvements. An Act Relative to Consumer Access to Residential Energy Information would require that a home energy scorecard and energy rating be provided to homeowners as part of free residential energy efficiency assessments, and after January 1, 2021, would require that home energy performance ratings be made available to potential homebuyers when one to four unit family homes are publicly listed for sale.

“Massachusetts is a national leader in energy efficiency, and this first-of-its-kind legislation would provide energy performance data to homeowners and buyers to improve consumer information and promote home energy efficiency,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  “These improvements will result in the reduction of hundreds of thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual savings for Massachusetts ratepayers.”

“Tens of thousands of the Commonwealth’s residents already take advantage of our nation-leading Mass Save® energy efficiency programs every year and this legislation builds upon those efforts to further reduce our energy expenses, usage, and emissions,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Energy costs have a significant impact on family budgets across Massachusetts, and energy scorecards will help families be better informed about their homes’ energy performance and how they can reduce those costs through incentivized energy efficiency upgrades.” 

Under the proposed legislation, homeowners who receive qualifying home energy assessments, including no-cost Mass Save® in-home assessments and RESNET Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index evaluations, would be provided a home energy scorecard. The information on the scorecard would include an estimate of annual energy consumptio and associated cost based on the home’s physical features, such as lighting, insulation and heating equipment. 

The scorecards for existing homes would be coupled with recommendations for cost-effective home energy efficiency improvements. Through Mass Save® and other programs sponsored by municipal light plants, Massachusetts residents are eligible for financial incentives for efficiency measures such as insulation and energy efficient heating and cooling and hot water equipment. Mass Save® also provides zero percent financing for qualifying improvements and equipment, as well as up to $10,000 toward energy improvements for income-eligible participants. Additionally, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center provides rebates and loan products for renewable energy technologies. 

“Home energy scorecards have the potential to significantly reduce energy use for the Commonwealth and the building sector, which is a leading contributor to our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As a former contractor, I know the value clean energy and energy efficiency upgrades can add to a home and the benefits that a scorecard could provide to buyers and sellers alike.” 

“Increased energy transparency is an important next step in ensuring that Massachusetts secures a clean energy future that reduces energy costs and usage,”said Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Judith Judson. “This legislation builds upon our nation-leading energy efficiency programs by ensuring that regularly collected data can be utilized to improve consumer knowledge and decision making.”

Massachusetts has been ranked the #1 state for energy efficiency for the past seven years by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and upon passage of this legislation, would be the first state in the country to require home energy scorecards for residential homes to be made available to potential homebuyers. 

As a significant energy consumer, the Massachusetts building sector could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. In 2014, the Commonwealth’s residential building sector was responsible for emitting 25.9% of the total greenhouse gases emitted that year.

“MAPC is proud to stand today with the Governor to support the home energy scorecard legislation, as it would create a valuable tool for home buyers, sellers, owners, and professionals in our 101 cities and towns and throughout the Commonwealth,” said Rebecca Davis, Deputy Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). “Our clean energy and climate work with communities has long demonstrated that access to energy performance data is key, enabling greater awareness of a home’s relative efficiency, energy costs, and GHG footprint and thereby encouraging energy conservation measures that can create healthier, greener, and more livable homes for our communities.” 

“Massachusetts has been number one in energy efficiency for many years, but it is not resting on its laurels,” said Steven Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “By establishing home energy performance ratings and instituting disclosure requirements, Governor Baker’s proposal will spur home energy retrofits that improve comfort and lower residents’ energy bills, ensure those efficiency upgrades are appropriately valued in real estate transactions, and help home buyers find more comfortable and efficient homes.”

“Energy New England, LLC (ENE) applauds Governor Baker and his Administration for this latest creative initiative to promote energy efficiency in residential homes in the Commonwealth.  The Home Energy Scorecard allows our customers to participate on a voluntary basis, preserving their local control over efficiency programs for their customer base. ENE looks forward to being part of enhancing the efficiency programs and greenhouse gas reduction goals of the Commonwealth,” said John G. Tzimorangas, President and Chief Executive Officer of ENE, which serves 24 of 41 municipal utilities in Massachusetts.

“You can't tell a car's miles per gallon by just looking at it. That's why we require that MPG sticker in the window. It lets consumers make informed comparisons, forecast operating costs and choose a vehicle that fits their budget. It also provides a clear incentive for car makers to make efficient cars. This is true for refrigerators, washing machines and so many other appliances,” said Elizabeth Henry, President of the Environmental League of Massachusetts. “Under this bill, home buyers will be as informed as car or refrigerator buyers. And home sellers will see a positive market signal when they invest in energy efficiency. Energy use transparency is a proven winner for the consumer — and the planet.”

Upon the enactment of this legislation, DOER would design the energy scorecard and develop the certification standards and trainings for scorecard providers.  DOER would also provide training for residential real estate professionals on best practices for providing scorecards to prospective buyers.

This legislation builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act goals. Under Governor Baker’s recently filed environmental bond bill, DOER would be directed to create a new clean peak standard for electricity suppliers to increase the usage of clean energy during periods of high, carbon intensive, and expensive electricity demand. In August 2016, Governor Baker signed into law bipartisan comprehensive energy diversification legislation requiring utilities to competitively solicit and contract for approximately 1,200 megawatts (MW) of clean hydropower and approximately 1,600MW of offshore wind. The Administration’s new solar incentive program, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), will support an additional 1,600 MW of solar in Massachusetts, nearly doubling the amount installed as of today at half the estimated pricing of existing programs. Through the 2016-2018 Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plan, Massachusetts’ energy efficiency programs set the most aggressive goals for energy savings in the nation.

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