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AG Nessel Joins Coalition in Defense of Federal GHG Standards for Light-Duty Vehicles

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, as part of a coalition of 23 attorneys general and six cities and counties, joined a motion to intervene in defense of federal greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) standards for light-duty vehicles. The transportation sector accounts for nearly one-third of all GHG emissions in the United States, and light-duty vehicles account for nearly 60% of those transportation sector emissions. As part of efforts to reduce emissions from this sector, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized more stringent GHG standards for model years 2023 to 2026 passenger cars and light trucks.  

"These revised standards would reduce pollution and benefit public health," Nessel said. "We must, as a nation, make a commitment to combatting harmful emissions that damage our environment, which includes recognizing ways the transportation sector can assist in that effort. I join my colleagues in defending the EPA's newest standards for light-duty vehicles." 

The EPA's GHG standards for light-duty vehicles are critical - for reducing emissions, improving air quality, and protecting public health. By 2050, the EPA estimates that the standards will reduce GHG emissions by 3.1 billion metric tons, as well as reduce emissions of particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide - two pollutants which cause significant adverse health impacts - by 14,700 tons and 60,200 tons respectively. Conservatively, the standards are expected to result in between $120 billion and $190 billion of total net benefits. 

In the motion to intervene, the coalition argues that the GHG standards are critically important to states, which are already experiencing the economic, public health, and environmental impacts of climate change.  

Attorney General Nessel has supported the Biden Administration's efforts to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and encouraged it to reaffirm California's authority to do the same. This summer, Nessel submitted comments urging the EPA to restore California's waiver under the Clean Air Act for its GHG and zero emission vehicle standards. Nessel also joined a coalition in urging NHTSA to repeal a Trump-era rule, known as the "Preemption Rule," that purported to preempt California's GHG and zero-emission-vehicles standards. On December 21, 2021, NHTSA announced a repeal of that rule.  

Joining Attorney General Nessel in filing the motion are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, as well as the cities of Denver, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco and the counties of Denver and San Francisco 

A copy of the motion can be found here (PDF)