A new state has joined a growing movement against the federal government’s plan to ease emissions standards. Superstitious types should take note.
Colorado is the 13th state pledging to abide by a set of vehicle pollution rules developed and enforced in California. Among other measures, the guidelines require all new cars to get an average of 36 miles per gallon by 2025.
Such diligent standards are especially important in Colorado, Governor John Hickenlooper said. That’s because the state’s elevated altitude can amplify the effects of pollution.
“Our communities, farms and wilderness areas are susceptible to air pollution and a changing climate,” he wrote in the executive order adopting the standards. “It’s critical for Coloradans’ health and Colorado’s future that we meet these challenges head-on.”
The declaration also shores up numbers for a group of powerful states currently opposing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the future of emissions standards.
First signs of the divide arose in April. That’s when EPA officials announced they would no longer enforce a group of strict pollution policies put in place by the Obama administration. The Obama-era rules also called for an average of 36 miles per gallon by 2025 as well as a 26% reduction in overall carbon emissions by that year.
In response, California vowed to continue abiding by the stricter rules. The state has been free to craft its own emissions standards since 1970, thanks to a waiver included in the federal Clean Air Act.
Since then, 12 states have signed on to follow California’s lead. Including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State, and the District of Colombia, the group accounts for nearly one-third of car purchases across the country.
Colorado officially joins their ranks by the end of the year. The executive order signed last week by Hickenlooper set a goal of adopting the standards statewide within the next six months.