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Consumer Reports to testify in favor of EPA state waiver for strong clean-car standards


  • June 2nd hearing to focus on EPA proposal to restore waiver for state emission standards, state adoption of clean vehicle programs
  • CR advocate, CR members to urge government officials to accelerate efforts to raise national standards for auto emissions, fuel economy


WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Consumer Reports will testify at a June 2 hearing held by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in favor of EPA’s proposal to reinstate a waiver to affirm state authority to set more stringent requirements for greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks.  The waiver would also affirm state authority to implement clean vehicle programs that make it easier for consumers to find electric vehicle options in their local communities.


The nonprofit, nonpartisan CR says reinstating this waiver, which was rolled back by the previous administration, would give all states a choice of returning to stronger clean car standards that CR has estimated will save consumers an average of $2100 per vehicle.  Improving fuel economy is one tool that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and 89 percent of U.S. drivers agree that automakers should continue to improve fuel economy for all vehicle types, including SUVs and pickup trucks, according to a 2020 nationally representative survey by CR.  CR is mobilizing consumers to sign a new petition to EPA in support of clean car standards, and organizing CR members to testify at the June 2nd online hearing.


Chris Harto, senior policy analyst for transportation and energy at Consumers Reports, will testify at the EPA hearing.  Harto said, “This proposal will help all consumers save money on cars and trucks that go further on a gallon of gas, or no gas at all, and help reduce emissions that cause climate pollution. Stronger standards are critical for a more equitable marketplace, where more communities have more choices for cleaner vehicles at affordable prices.


Harto added, “When I tried to buy an electric vehicle in my home state of Virginia, there were very few available, and they were often marked up by thousands of dollars above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. But when I crossed into Maryland, which has standards thanks to past waivers, there were plenty of options.”


CR will also urge federal officials to restore the national standards for auto fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions that were rolled back during the previous administration, and call for the government to establish a 2030 standard to cut emissions from new cars and light-duty trucks at least 60 percent below today’s levels that will save consumers $1.6 trillion.


Harto noted, “Restoring the state waiver is just the first step. Consumers across the country want — and deserve — better access to clean cars. We need to get back on track to restore the national standards for fuel economy and emissions, and keep improving those standards, because they save us money, and they improve public health.”