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AJR-10 Federal Clean Air Act.(2019-2020)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Joint Resolution No. 10


Introduced by Assembly Member Reyes
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Carrillo, Friedman, Cristina Garcia, Kalra, Limón, and Luz Rivas)

February 26, 2019


Relative to vehicular air pollution.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AJR 10, as introduced, Reyes. Federal Clean Air Act.
This measure would state that the Legislature strongly and unequivocally supports the existing fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards and California’s federal Clean Air Act waivers; will consider any and all appropriate actions to maintain vehicle emissions standards for the protection of public health, California residents, and the economy; and strongly urges the President and Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, and the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to reject the Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021–2026.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, In recognition of California’s unique and severe air pollution problems and the associated public health impacts, California has been developing innovative laws and standards since the 1960s to address its air pollution problems, including the nation’s first standards to reduce vehicle emissions; and
WHEREAS, When the United States Congress enacted the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.) in acknowledgment of California’s unique air pollution problems and its leadership in fighting air pollution, the United States Congress allowed the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant California a “waiver” from the federal Clean Air Act preemption provisions to enact and enforce emissions standards for new motor vehicles that are more protective than the federal standard and allowed for other states to follow California’s standards; and
WHEREAS, Over nearly five decades, from Governor Ronald Reagan to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., California has requested and been granted over 130 waivers under the federal Clean Air Act to enact stronger emissions standards; and
WHEREAS, These waivers have had bipartisan support from lawmakers for over one-half of a century; and
WHEREAS, Twelve other states plus the District of Columbia have elected to follow California’s stronger rules, representing over one-third of the new car market in the United States and taking historic steps to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
WHEREAS, In 2010, the federal government followed California’s lead by enacting national greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles in model years 2012 to 2016, inclusive, under a historic agreement between California, automakers, federal agencies, states, labor groups, and environmental groups; and
WHEREAS, In 2012, the federal government followed California’s lead by enacting fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars in model years 2017 to 2025, inclusive, that would double the current fuel economy performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cumulatively 436 million metric tons by 2025; and
WHEREAS, Automakers have met the fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards earlier and at lower costs than first estimated while increasing vehicle sales; and
WHEREAS, As a result of California’s cleaner emissions rules and the fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards, vehicles have become more fuel efficient, less polluting, and safer while simultaneously improving horsepower and acceleration, and these improvements have saved California residents tens of billions of dollars in gas costs, saved California residents tens of billions of dollars in health costs, and reduced air pollution-related deaths; and
WHEREAS, Analyses on the fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards have found that the standards will create more than 100,000 jobs in the United States and boost the gross domestic product by more than $13 billion in 2025 and, in California alone, will support more than 10,000 manufacturing and engineering jobs that build fuel-efficient technologies; and
WHEREAS, Policies enacted under California’s waivers from the federal Clean Air Act have significantly reduced air pollution throughout the state and nation, but much more still needs to be done as California still has unacceptably high levels of ozone and particulate matter in many areas of the state, contributing to high asthma rates, cardiovascular health problems, missed days of school and work, increased hospital admissions, and premature death; and
WHEREAS, Despite the benefits to California residents, the economy, air pollution, and the environment, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the EPA proposed a draft rule in 2018, the so-called Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021–2026, which proposes to halt fuel economy targets in 2020 and to withdraw California’s waiver to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards and its successful zero-emission vehicle programs that have been in place for over 20 years; and
WHEREAS, No Administrator of the EPA has ever tried to withdraw a waiver, and there is no process in the federal Clean Air Act for withdrawing a waiver; and
WHEREAS, The NHTSA has reinvoked a flawed interpretation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-163), seeking to preempt California and other states from adopting and maintaining emissions standards, an action that has previously been rejected by two federal courts and is inconsistent with nearly a decade of successful program implementation; and
WHEREAS, Withdrawing California’s waiver and freezing the fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards will result in the emission of millions of tons of smog-forming and climate-disrupting pollution that will severely damage the state’s ability to achieve federal clean air standards and the state’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements; and
WHEREAS, Withdrawing California’s waiver and freezing the fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards will have a drastic negative impact on public health and the economy and will cost more than $36 billion in costs to California residents from 2020 to 2030, inclusive; and
WHEREAS, The so-called Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021–2026 is estimated to increase oil consumption by 500,000 barrels of oil per day; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature strongly and unequivocally supports the existing fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards and California’s federal Clean Air Act waivers; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature will consider any and all appropriate actions to maintain vehicle emissions standards for the protection of public health, California residents, and the economy; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature strongly urges the President and Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, and the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to reject the Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021–2026; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the President and the Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, the Governor, and the author for appropriate distribution.