Using its authority under the Clean Air Act, California has set
tougher motor vehicle standards for global warming emissions and
other motor vehicle tailpipe emissions.
Twelve other states and the District of Columbia have adopted these better-than-federal motor vehicle standards in order to protect their citizens from dirty air and global warming. Several other states are considering adopting California standards.
In addition, Canada has signed an agreement with automakers to
deliver global warming emission reductions comparable to those
required by California.
States Taking Action
California has long led the nation by adopting stricter vehicle emission standards than those required by federal law. In January 2012, the California Air Resources Board adopted its Advanced
Clean Cars package for Model Year 2017–2025 vehicles, and the rule became law on August 7, 2012. The U.S. EPA granted California a waiver to implement its updated Clean Cars law on December 27, 2012. Learn more about the rulemaking process and the broad-based support for clean cars at the California Clean Cars Campaign.
On December 11, 2007, California won in U.S. District Court when Judge Anthony Ishii dismissed a lawsuit, filed in 2004 by major automakers, that sought to block California from implementing its Clean Cars Law (AB 1493). Follow the California Clean Cars Campaign, which demonstrates the broad-based support of consumers, businesses, local governments, and health, environmental and public interest groups for the strongest possible California vehicle standards.
In September 2004 the California Air Resources Board approved regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles. The Board took this action pursuant to AB 1493 (Pavley), which directed the Board to adopt regulations that achieve the maximum feasible and cost effective reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. The regulations apply to new passenger vehicles and light duty trucks beginning with the 2009 model year.
January 10, 2012 – Although the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) adopted the Clean Cars Program in 2008, in 2011 under the watch of Gov. Jan Brewer, the agency sought repeal. On January 10, 2012, to the dismay of health and environmental advocates throughout the state, the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) granted the revocation effective immediately.
November 14, 2011 – Environmental advocates respond to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality notice of plans to repeal Clean Cars law. They note that the state's formal notice was released late in the day, just prior to the Veteran's Day Long weekend.
November 10, 2011 – Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issues formal notice of plan to repeal Clean Cars law.
June 21, 2011 – Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality held a public hearing on its proposal to repeal Arizona's Clean Cars law. The state is expected to finalize its proposal later this year.
February 2, 2010 – In an executive order, Gov. Janice K. Brewer announced that the state would not pursue cap-and-trade legislation in 2010 and would review its adoption of the California Clean Cars Program, in light of national vehicle standards coming into place. The order directed the Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality to review the national standards and convene a stakeholder process to "consider what action the state should take with its tailpipe emission rules."
On May 6, 2008, Arizona became the 14th state to formally adopt the Clean Cars law when the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council voted 5-2 to approve the rule. The law requires vehicles sold in Arizona beginning in 2011 to meet the new standards. On May 15, 2008, Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a bill that would have prohibited the state from implementing its clean cars law.
On November 26, 2007 the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality began its formal rulemaking process to adopt the clean cars standard.
Read the ADEQ news release.
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano signed Executive
Order 2006-13 on September 8, 2006 establishing a statewide
goal to reduce Arizona's future greenhouse gas emissions to the
2000 emissions level by the year 2020, and to 50% below the 2000
level by 2040. The order follows the recommendations of
the state's Climate Change Advisory Group, which include
adopting the Clean Cars Law fashioned after California’s vehicle
Read the U.S. PIRG Education Fund report, which describes how
Arizona could limit its contribution to global warming over the
next two decades: Cars
and Global Warming: Policy Options To Reduce Arizona’s Global
Warming Pollution From Cars And Light Trucks
On November 5, 2007 Colorado Governor Bill Ritter released a Climate Action Plan that includes directing the Colorado Air Quality Control Division to propose clean car greenhouse gas emission standards within one to two years.
Connecticut adopted the California motor vehicle standards in late 2005. In August 2013 it updated its rules to reflect California's updated Advanced Clean Cars rule. Read the latest revisions here and here.
Read the ConnPIRG report Cars and
Global Warming: Policy Options to Reduce Connecticut’s Global
Warming Pollution from Cars and Light Trucks
Delaware adopted the California motor vehicle standards on December 1, 2010.
District of Columbia
The District of Columbia is not a state, but Washington, D.C. is defined as a "state" under the Clean Air Act (Section 302d). The District adopted the Clean Cars Law on May 13, 2008.
Chesapeake Climate Action Network news release
Read the bill
A Florida bill to ratify the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection rule adopting California motor vehicle standards is moving though the statehouse. SB 1994 is a top priority for Gov. Charlie Crist.
Florida’s Environmental Commission passed California’s standards on December 2, 2008. The rule was officially adopted by filing with the Secretary of State January 26, 2009. It awaits ratification by the state legislature.
Florida's Department of Environmental Protection conducted an extensive rulemaking process to adopt the Clean Cars Law in response to an executive order signed by Gov. Charlie Crist in July 2007.
Meanwhile, Gov. Crist has signaled his continued support for and plans to implement the Clean Cars law, and has committed to working cooperatively with the state Legislature. H.B. 7135, which passed in spring 2008, requires the DEP to submit the proposed vehicle GHG standards to the Legislature for ratification. H.B. 7135 also authorizes the state to develop a GHG cap-and-trade program as well as renewable fuel and electricity portfolio standards.
Gov. Crist launched his state's attack on global warming pollution on July 13, 2007 in a series of executive orders that set ambitious and proactive goals for addressing global warming:
Read California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s statement.
Read the Environment Florida statement.
Read the August 30, 2007 Environment Florida analysis of how the Clean Cars Program would cut pollution and save Florida drivers money:
Illinois and other Midwest states are moving to adopt tough new standards to reduce pollution, benefiting the region's health and reducing global warming pollution-while also improving the area's economy. Adopting the Clean Cars law is a high priority for Illinois. The Environmental Law and Policy Center is leading the charge.
In February 2009, Rep. Nathan Reichert, D-Muscatine, proposed House File 422.
Under the bill, the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission would set
emissions standards mirroring California's Clean Cars Law beginning with the
2011 model year.
Read HF 422
Track HF 422
Maine adopted the California motor vehicle standards in late 2005 and updated its rules in December 2012 to reflect California’s 2012 revisions.
Read the Environment Maine report from December 2004: Cars
and Global Warming: Policy Options to Reduce Maine’s Global
Warming Emissions from Cars and Light Trucks
On April 24, 2007, Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the Maryland Clean Cars bill into law.
On April 5, 2007, the Maryland legislature approved the Clean Cars law.
The measure now heads to the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley, who has pledged
to sign the measure.
Read the bill as adopted
Read the Environment Maryland news release
Less than a week after being sworn in, Gov. Martin O’Malley
announced he would make clean cars part of his legislative
package. His announcement adds momentum to the state’s
effort to adopt stricter emissions standards than the
federal government requires. Maryland Senator Brian Frosh
and Delegate Elizabeth Bobo introduced legislation, the
Clean Cars Act, on January 17, 2007.
Read the Health Air Coalition press release
Read the Maryland Clean Cars Act fact sheet
In September 2006, Environment Maryland Research and Policy
Center, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and the
Sierra Club’s Maryland Chapter petitioned the Maryland
Department of the Environment to adopt California’s vehicle
Read the petition.
In supporting its call for Maryland to adopt the Clean Cars standards, an Environment Maryland report released in late December 2006 analyzes U.S. EPA data to determine that the cancer risk from breathing polluted air in Baltimore and around the state’s largest municipalities far exceeds the federal health standards. The majority of the toxins come from vehicles.
Read the "Cars and Cancer" report.
Read the September 2006 Environment Maryland report: Cars and Global
Warming: Policy Options to Reduce Maryland’s Global Warming
Pollution from Cars and Light Trucks.
Polling conducted in Maryland in January 2005 showed strong support for adopting the Clean Car standards.
Read the polling memo
View a slide presentation
Massachusetts adopted the California motor vehicle standards in
early 2006 and updated its rules in December 2012 to reflect California’s 2012 revisions.
Read the regulation.
Read the MASSPIRG report from April 2003: Cars And
Global Warming: Policy Options to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
from Massachusetts Cars and Light Trucks
In 2007, Minnesota introduced legislation to adopt the Clean Cars law. Throughout the spring of 2008, clean car advocates fought a well-funded auto industry campaign against the Clean Cars legislation. Automakers made false claims that the California standards would hurt the state’s ethanol market, an important economic driver in Minnesota. The legislation did not pass this session, however, advocates will return with a new bill next year.
In January 2008, the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group recommended that Minnesota adopt the Clean Car Standards.
Read the report.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson signed on in support of California’s lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the agency’s denial of California’s waiver request.
Read the news release
Read the state’s motion to intervene
Montana is a member of the Western Climate Initiative. Under the direction of Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Montana issued its Climate Change Action Plan in fall 2007. Developed by the state's Climate Change Advisory Committee, the plan highlighted 54 policy recommendations that are designed to help reduce Montana's GHG emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. Among the recommendations are the Clean Cars standard.
New Jersey adopted
the California motor vehicle standards in late 2005.
Read the NJPIRG report from September 2002: Ready To
Roll: An Assessment of New Jersey's Readiness for the Zero-Emission
In 2011, New Mexico delayed its Clean Cars standards for model year 2011–2016, and in 2013, repealed the program altogether, choosing instead to follow the national program.
April 4, 2009 – New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson vetoed two bills that would have delayed the state's implementation of the vehicle global warming pollution standards, on the basis that they encroach on his executive authority. However, after vetoing the identical bills, Senate Bill 548 and House Bill 340, the governor directed the state Environment Department to work with automotive dealers to review and establish a schedule for phasing in the standards.
In spring 2008, several groups of opponents filed suits to block New Mexico from implementing its Clean Cars law. Read more.
After two days of joint hearings, the Albuquerque-Bernalillo Air Quality Control Board (AQCB) and Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) voted November 28, 2007 to adopt the Clean Cars Law. It is set to take effect in New Mexico with Model Year 2011.
Read Environment New Mexico’s news release
Environmental groups notice of intent to present technical testimony to EIB
On November 8, 2007 New Mexico joined California’s lawsuit to force U.S. EPA to act on the Clean Cars waiver request.
Read the governor’s news release
Read Environment New Mexico’s release
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson issued an executive order in late December 2006 establishing goals and
timetables for several steps the state can take to reduce global warming – including adopting the Clean
Cars vehicle emissions standards. The executive order tasks a state government implementation team with
examining GHG reduction strategies in a range of industry sectors; Richardson says he’s considering
broader measures to cut global warming pollution similar to those adopted in 2006 in California.
Read the Executive Order.
The Executive Order follows the fall 2006 release of the Governor’s Climate Change Advisory
Group recommendations, which included adopting the Clean Cars program.
Read the governor’s press
Read Environment New Mexico’s press
New York adopted
the California motor vehicle standards in 2005.
In 2007, lawmakers in the both the North Carolina House and Senate introduced bills (H 1179
and S 1307) that would require North Carolina to adopt the Clean Cars Program. The state’s Climate Action Plan Advisory Group also recommended the Clean Cars Program as one of the most cost-effective steps the state could take to reduce global warming pollution from the transportation sector.
In the 2008 short session, a key panel recommended and lawmakers introduced a bill (H 2526) that would require the state to examine the costs and benefits of the Clean Cars Program in North Carolina.
For more information, visit Environment North Carolina.
In December 2005, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) adopted temporary rules requiring Oregon to meet California’s vehicle emissions standards. On June 22, 2006, the EQC permanently adopted rules requiring all new motor vehicles sold in Oregon to meet California’s vehicle emissions standards beginning with model year 2009. In December 2013, Oregon adopted the updated its rules to reflect
California’s updated Clean Car standards.
Read the October 2005 OSPIRG report, Cars and
Global Warming: How the Clean Cars Program Curbs Global Warming
Pollution in Oregon.
Pennsylvania agreed in 1998 to follow California’s lead in motor vehicle standards. On September 19, 2006, Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board approved a plan to begin meeting the California standards beginning in 2008. On November 2, 2006, the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) voted
to approve implementation of the plan. See Penn Environment.
Despite the governor’s office and state agency support, the Pennsylvania General
Assembly in 2006 debated a controversial rollback bill, SB 1025, which threatened
to block the state from implementing the Clean Cars Law. On November 22,
Pennsylvania concluded its ‘lame duck’ session without voting on the measure.
For more information, visit Penn
Rhode Island adopted the California motor vehicle standards in late 2005 and updated its rules in December 2012 to reflect California’s 2012 revisions.
Read the RIPIRG report from Winter 2005: Cars and Global
Warming: Policy Options for Rhode Island to Reduce Global Warming
from Pollution from Cars and Light Trucks.
As a member of the Western Climate Initiative, Utah has committed to reducing greenhouse gases to 2005 levels by 2020. Among the policy measures the state is developing to meet the goal is the Clean Cars standard.
Utah identified its policy options through a Blue Ribbon Advisory Council, which delivered its proposals in fall 2007.
Read more about Utah's Climate Change program.
the California motor vehicle standards in 2005.
In November 2005, automakers sued in federal district court to block Vermont from implementing its law. The trial opened on April 10, 2007 in Burlington, Judge William Sessions presiding. In a September 12, 2007 decision, Judge Sessions ruled against the automakers and for the states of Vermont and New York and environmental groups in support of the Clean Cars Law.
The decision opens the way toward implementation of California’s vehicle global warming pollution standards in Vermont.
Review relevant court documents on the Legal Challenges: Other States page.
Washington adopted the California motor vehicle standards in 2005.
December 29, 2009 – Quebec is the first province in Canada to adopt California's strict auto emissions standards, effective January 14, 2010. Quebec announced in 2007 its plan to adopt the California emission standards but was waiting for legal wrangling between the state of California and automakers to be resolved before it officially got on board.
December 17, 2009 – The Province of British Columbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State of California to work together to implement California's Clean Car Standards. The agreement commits the Ministry of Environment and the California Air Resources Board to move forward in partnership. Both parties will share information and resources to ensure vehicle standards are applied consistently to vehicle models available in California and B.C. The agencies will cooperate on vehicle test data and on determining manufacturers' fleet GHG.
Read the MOU
November 23, 2009 – Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced that, by 2020, the province will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels. The province will reach the goals, in part, by adopting new vehicle GHG emissions standards similar to California's rules.
April 2, 2009 – Manitoba moves to adopt California-style vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards.
On April 29, 2008 British Columbia’s Ministry of the Environment announced introduction of Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Vehicle Emissions Standards) Act.
Read the press release
Read the fact sheet
On January 17, 2008, the Government of Canada announced for the third time that it will regulate automotive fuel economy.
The Canadian Government introduced Canada's Clean Air Act, October 19, 2006.
In April 2005, the government of Canada signed an agreement
with the Canadian Automotive Industry, under which the
carmakers voluntarily agreed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions from new cars in Canada.