Nevada’s Authority to Set Clean Cars Standards is Restored!

The Biden EPA reinstated the right of states to adopt stronger clean vehicle standards that will improve air quality, expand consumer choice, boost the economy, and fight climate change

CARSON CITY — Today, President Biden’s EPA restored a key tool to address pollution from the transportation sector – America and Nevada’s leading source of climate pollution. This comes on the heels of Nevada recently becoming the sixteenth state in the nation to adopt clean car standards under the leadership of Governor Steve Sisolak’s Clean Cars Nevada initiative.

The EPA’s rule reaffirms state authority, granted under the Clean Air Act, to set stronger than federal vehicle pollution standards, paving the way for Nevada’s new program to go into effect for model year 2025. It also opens the opportunity for additional programs to address heavy-duty vehicles like buses and semi trucks, which are a large source of vehicle pollution that particularly impact lower-income communities. Nevada leaders, including Governor Sisolak and Attorney General Aaron Ford, fought the Trump administration’s efforts to rollback this state authority.

The EPA’s restoration of the Clean Air Act comes as Nevada is investing $100 million into electric vehicle charging infrastructure as a result of SB448 – the Clean Energy Economy Bill that was signed into law in 2021. The U.S. Congress is considering additional bold investments in clean transportation. Both have huge potential to revitalize the economy and to generate new, good paying jobs.

Environmental protection, public health, climate action, and business advocates released the following statements:

“This clears the way for Nevada to charge full speed ahead on clean vehicles,” said Angie Dykema, Nevada Representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “We can now use the full power of the Clean Air Act to cut pollution, get more zero-emission cars and trucks on the road, save money on transportation, improve public health, and protect our climate.”

“AEE applauds the Biden Administration for empowering states to pursue cleaner transportation,” said Sarah Steinberg, Principal at Advanced Energy Economy (AEE). “Nevada has quickly become a leader in transportation electrification by making impressive investments in charging infrastructure and creating new rules to expand consumer options for clean cars and trucks. Combined with significant federal support, the future in Nevada is electric.

“The Black community and other communities of color are at greater risk of developing asthma, lung cancer, and other diseases because of harmful air pollution caused by tailpipe emissions,” said Dr. Mary House, CEO of CHR, Inc. (Caring, Helping, & Restoring Lives). “As an electric car driver, mother, and grandma, I am grateful to the Biden and Sisolak administrations for taking action to improve air quality so our children can breathe easier.”

“We are proud of the Biden administration for listening to climate science and communities that have been calling for strong clean car standards across the country, ” said Christi Cabrera, Policy and Advocacy Director for the Nevada Conservation League. “With Nevada’s leadership to expand charging infrastructure and consumer options for clean cars, today’s rule change will further accelerate Nevada’s transition to zero-emission vehicles and progress towards our state’s climate goals. We will continue to ensure families have access to clean energy, clean air, and a clean environment for years to come.”

“This announcement is confirmation that stronger clean car standards will reduce climate pollution and avoid the costly health impacts of transportation pollution,” said Bernadette Mae Longo, PhD, RN, CNL, PHNA-BC, FAAN chair of Nevada Nurses Association Environmental Health Committee. “The American Lung Association ‘Road to Clean Air’ report found that a nationwide transition to electric vehicles, trucks, and buses could yield $72 billion in health benefits annually.”

“Today’s announcement by the EPA reaffirms Nevada’s legal authority to adopt clean car standards that curb pollution affecting the health of Nevadans,” said Simon Mui, Director of Clean Vehicles & Fuels for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Nevada’s leadership is crucial to moving our nation toward zero-emission vehicles.”

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