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



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AJR10:v94#DOCUMENT

Assembly Joint Resolution No. 10
CHAPTER 182

Relative to vehicular air pollution.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 26, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AJR 10, 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, the preservation of California’s authority to enact stricter air pollution standards pursuant to its federal Clean Air Act waiver, and the enactment of a voluntary agreement between the State Air Resources Board and automobile manufacturers that preserves California’s status as a leader in the fight for clean air; will consider any and all appropriate actions to maintain and enact vehicle emissions standards for the protection of public health, California residents, and the economy; supports any and all appropriate actions that enhance longstanding protections for the public’s 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 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, including the nation’s first standards to reduce vehicle emissions, since the 1960s to address its air pollution problems; 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, Thirteen other states, plus the District of Columbia, have adopted California’s motor vehicle emissions standards under Section 177 of the federal Clean Air Act; 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 that were estimated to reduce oil consumption by 170 billion gallons, and greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 billion metric tons, during the lives of those vehicles; and
WHEREAS, Automobile manufacturers 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 can 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 Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021–2026 (SAFE Vehicles Proposed Rule), which proposes to halt fuel economy targets in 2020 and to withdraw California’s waiver to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards and to continue 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, California has unique environmental problems, as exemplified by the American Lung Association’s report entitled State of the Air 2019, which identified California as having the most severe air quality challenges in the nation; 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 excessive and avoidable 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, will have a detrimental impact on public health, and will prevent California from addressing its unique air quality challenges; and
WHEREAS, Withdrawing California’s waiver and freezing the fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards could risk billions of dollars in federal funding for transportation projects in California, which could cause job loss, exacerbate traffic congestion and air pollution levels, and hinder the movement of goods within California and between California and other states; and
WHEREAS, An analysis claims the SAFE Vehicles Proposed Rule will cause an increase of carbon pollution by 8,000,000,000 tons during this century if the SAFE Vehicles Proposed Rule is finalized; and
WHEREAS, As of June 2019, automobile manufacturers have filed a joint statement informing the Trump administration that they oppose the SAFE Vehicles Proposed Rule, claiming the proposal would increase costs that would be passed down to consumers; and
WHEREAS, On July 24, 2019, the State Air Resources Board and a collaborative of automobile manufacturers voluntarily agreed upon a framework for the terms for light-duty greenhouse gas emissions standards; and
WHEREAS, The initial agreement incentivizes manufacturers to adopt technological innovations, sets forth robust greenhouse gas emissions standards, and assists manufacturers in meeting those standards; and
WHEREAS, The initial agreement covers approximately 30 percent of new cars and SUVs sold in the United States and can grow to include others who opt into this agreement; and
WHEREAS, The framework agreed upon by the State Air Resources Board and automobile manufacturers illustrates that it is technologically and economically feasible to produce vehicles that emit fewer greenhouse gases; and
WHEREAS, The SAFE Vehicles Proposed Rule is estimated to increase oil consumption by 500,000 barrels of oil per day; and
WHEREAS, The SAFE Vehicles Proposed Rule would most benefit the oil industry, which has launched a campaign to weaken current greenhouse gas emissions standards and revoke California’s federal Clean Air Act waiver; 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, the preservation of California’s authority to enact stricter air pollution standards pursuant to its federal Clean Air Act waiver, and the enactment of a voluntary agreement between the State Air Resources Board and automobile manufacturers that preserves California’s status as a leader in the fight for clean air; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature will consider any and all appropriate actions to maintain and enact vehicle emissions standards for the protection of public health, California residents, and the economy; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature supports any and all appropriate actions that enhance longstanding protections for the public’s 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 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.