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California Governor Gavin Newsome took the fight over tailpipe standards, and California’s authority to set its own, to a whole new level by barring the purchase of new gas-powered vehicles for state government fleets from GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and other automakers that backed the Trump Administration. This will apparently hit GM the hardest — California spent more than $27 million on passenger vehicles from GM-owned Chevrolet in 2018 — altogether the state spent nearly $75m on cars in 2018.
Trump Administration’s Final Rule On Tailpipe Standards Rollback Expected Soon
The Trump Administration is reportedly going to set a new fuel efficiency standard soon — and they are expected to only modestly boost fuel efficiency versus the Obama rule or the California compromise proposal. Several automakers are anticipating annual increases of about 1.5% versus the 5% the Obama rule would have required.
The Trump administration is also attempting to pressure the four companies that agreed to follow California’s rule – the Department of Justice issued subpoenas against them earlier this month, saying if they coordinated with California, they could be in violation of federal antitrust laws.
California’s Tough Standards
California Executive Order N-19-19 set tough fuel economy goals for the state’s fleet of cars it owns – specifically requiring the state to reduce its petroleum consumption by 50 percent (from 2015 levels) by 2030 and reduced its GHG emissions by 40 percent (from 1990 levels).
Plus, thirteen states have adopted California’s emissions standards for cars sold to residents of their states, and 22 states have joined California’s lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency objecting to the president’s restrictions on California’s authority over tailpipe emissions in the state.
Gas flaring was responsible for Texas’s recent increase in oil refinery pollution, but it’s hardly a new problem. We’re less than a decade away from the UN’s goal of Zero Routine Flaring by 2030, but refineries still flare 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year, releasing 400 million tons of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants into the atmosphere.
Why This Matters: Companies have historically practiced gas flaring as a convenient and inexpensive way to “dispose of ” gas that was extracted alongside oil, as opposed to storing paying to store it.
Despite over four million Texans losing power during the recent deep freeze, oil refineries released an increased amount of pollution into the air. In a state that leads the nation in both power production and carbon emissions, experts say that failure to winterize power infrastructure resulted in harmful releases of toxic air pollution.
Why This Matters: Texas is the nation’s leading power producer, and to achieve this, the state has heavily deregulated not only its power grid but the fossil fuel industry as well.
People riding American subway lines are exposed to air pollution that’s worse than a bad day in Beijing, according to new research that studied subway networks in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and D.C.
Why this Matters: We hope Secretary Pete takes note because this is an environmental justice issue.
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