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Consumer Reports supports EPA action to reinstate waiver, allowing states to set stronger standards for new vehicles


  • Consumer Reports filed comments with EPA in support of the agency’s proposed action to restore a waiver that allows states to set stronger clean car standards
  • With its comments, CR submitted a petition signed by 48,599 individuals who favor EPA’s proposed action


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The independent, nonpartisan Consumer Reports submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with 48,599 petition signatures, in support of the agency’s proposal to reinstate a waiver that gives states the authority to set more stringent requirements for greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and light-duty trucks. The waiver would also allow states to implement clean vehicle programs, which can expand consumers’ choices for electric vehicle options in their local communities and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019 this waiver was revoked by the previous administration.


In its first days in office, the Biden administration directed EPA to consider rescinding the 2019 action. CR policy analyst Chris Harto, says, “Restoring state leadership under the Clean Air Act is vital to improving public health. It can put the auto industry on a path to a clean car revolution.” Restoring the waiver will also provide states with a choice of returning to strong standards, which a Consumer Reports analysis found would lead to an estimated $2100 in consumer savings on each new vehicle purchased by 2025.


“Reaffirming state authority is just the first step,” Chris continued. “Consumers across the country want and deserve better access to cleaner cars, and to ensure the auto industry delivers them, we need strong national standards.” Beyond this small initial step, CR is calling on the administration to restore Obama-era greenhouse gas emissions standards through 2025, and set new standards through 2030 that will cut emissions from new cars and light-duty trucks at least 60% below today’s levels. CR analysis estimates this action would save consumers $1.6 trillion dollars and would eliminate 10 gigatons of global warming pollution through 2050.


The EPA will be taking a separate action to reconsider the previous administration’s Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Final Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 (SAFE-2 Rule) with plans to propose an updated, and what CR hopes will be a much stronger, version of the rule later this month. Though restoring the state waiver is a good start, the country needs a strong national standard that would save consumers money, improve public health, and combat climate change, CR said.


Contact: Carsen Mata, carsen.mata@consumer.org