DENVER — Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 — Ahead of tomorrow’s Senate confirmation vote on Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Gov. Jared Polis and U.S. Senator Michael Bennet sent a letter to Wheeler opposing the proposed freeze of fuel efficiency standards that require ongoing improvements to light-duty vehicles.
“The Federal proposal to freeze efficiency standards is out of step with a long history of bipartisan collaboration on this issue,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We should be focusing our collective time and energy on making our transportation system cleaner, safer, more affordable and more efficient. That’s what we plan to do in Colorado and we’d urge the Trump Administration to do the same.”
“The Trump administration is making a mistake in rolling back the clean car standards,” Senator Michael Bennet said. “America is on track to make cars and trucks at a competitive advantage—creating more innovative, safe, and clean vehicles. The Trump administration will look back in history and find itself responsible for giving our global competitors the upper hand. No matter political affiliation, everyone can agree rolling back fuel economy standards is bad policy.”
In the letter, Polis and Bennet outlined how the proposed rule would undo an effective program that convenes federal agencies, states, automakers, and stakeholders for the benefit of consumers and the environment, and would jeopardize states’ abilities to retain strong efficiency standards. Because the federal rulemaking has yet to be finalized, Polis and Bennet submitted this letter to acting Administrator Wheeler as part of his ongoing Senate confirmation process, urging him to abandon the proposal and instead finalize a rule that continues to improve the efficiency of vehicles across the nation.
“We urge you to abandon the Administration’s current proposal and instead finalize a rule that continues to improve the efficiency of our cars, with the buy-in of states and other partners across the country,” Polis and Bennet wrote.
Earlier this month, Polis signed his first Executive Order, aiming to reduce emissions from the transportation sector for the benefit of Colorado’s economy, consumers, public health and environment. In October 2018, Bennet sent two letters to the Trump administration, opposing the proposed rule and calling for an end to its challenge of states’ authority—like Colorado’s—to set their own standards. Bennet has also introduced legislation to block the Trump administration from rolling back the historic 54.5 fuel economy emission standards.
Read the full letter here.