Clean Car Rules

This is a compilation of our legal analyses, podcasts, tracker posts, and our op-ed about the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back fuel economy and emissions standards for cars and light trucks.

Legal Analysis: Looking Forward from California’s Historic Agreement with Automakers

July 26, 2019 – This post looks ahead into the implications of California’s agreement with four automakers, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, and Honda, on compromise standards for fuel efficiency and GHG emissions for model years 2022-2026 of cars and light trucks.

Legal Analysis: California’s First Legal Battle over the New Car Rules

June 28, 2019 – This post describes what is happening in the California v. EPA case, where California and a coalition of states are challenging the administration’s re-opening of the rulemaking process. We discuss how the court will walk through the issues and arguments presented, and how the case’s outcome could influence the inevitable legal battle over the new vehicle standards when they are finalized.

Podcast: Joe Goffman and Bill Becker Discuss the Clean Car Rollback

May 13, 2019 – Joe Goffman speaks with Bill Becker, former Executive Director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. Bill and Mary Becker have just published a report on the Trump proposal to weaken vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards. They describe the effects this proposal will have on public health, state compliance with the Clean Air Act, and industry operations. In addition to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, other harmful emissions will rise, such as smog-forming pollutants, fine particles, and cancer-causing air toxics. The report is on our website here.

Regulatory Rollback Tracker CAFE/GHG Emissions Pages

We have two posts in which we track the efforts to roll back these standards and the penalties for noncompliance. Our Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards/Greenhouse Gas Standards page and our Corporate Average Fuel Economy Penalties page.

Podcast: Caitlin McCoy and Michelle Melton Talk about Vehicle Standards

May 9, 2019 – Caitlin McCoy speaks with Harvard Law student Michelle Melton about the proposed changes to the fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles. They discuss the lead up to and details of the proposed rules, and talk about ongoing and future litigation around these rules.

Legal Analysis: Beyond the Waiver - EPA’s Plan to End State GHG Vehicle Standards

August 24, 2018 – This blog is the third in a series on the legal landscape surrounding California’s Clean Air Act waiver to set vehicle greenhouse gas standards, focusing on the plan to eliminate the ability of other states to follow California’s GHG standards. The first post examined the potential for waiver preemption by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and the second post summarized the administration’s proposed rule and preemption plan. Both are also listed below.

Legal Analysis: CAFE Standards and the California Preemption Plan

May 19, 2018 – As an update to our examination of the law of preemption under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (the first post in this series, listed below), we walk through the preemption approach taken by the agencies in the proposed rules to explain how they are planning to address California’s waiver.

Legal Analysis: California, CAFE Standards, and the Energy Policy and Conservation Act

June 19, 2018 – Can California’s Clean Air Act waiver to implement its Advanced Clean Cars Program be preempted by fuel economy standards under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act? Here we summarize the state of the law on this issue. This is the first in a series of three legal analyses on these topics.

Op-Ed: Trump’s Biggest Climate Move Yet Is Bad for Everyone

August 2, 2018 – Jody Freeman’s op-ed in the New York Times describes what’s at stake with these rollbacks, how they might play out legally, and the role the auto industry can play in seeking flexibility and advancing progress toward cleaner air.