Clean cars rollback: Bad for our health, our climate, our wallets

Media Contacts


The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today finalized the rule to rewrite the federal clean car standards. The clean car standards were first established in 2010 and are projected to double fuel economy and to cut global warming pollution in half for cars sold in 2025. The weaker standards could result in more than 1.5 billion additional metric tons of global warming pollution in our atmosphere by 2040, contributing to Colorado’s existing problems with dirty air. 

This is the second phase of the Trump administration’s clean cars rollback. The rollbacks began when the Trump administration attacked the authority under the Clean Air Act of states, including Colorado to adopt stronger tailpipe pollution limits than those set by the federal government—a move that would take away states’ rights to protect their own residents from harmful pollution.

Air pollution has been linked to higher rates of lung disease like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Multiple studies have found that high levels of air pollution have also been linked to larger numbers of people hospitalized with pneumonia. Additionally, rolling back clean car standards could cost Colorado $4.9 billion in net consumer losses. Without these standards, fuel costs for an average new vehicle increase by $3,200 and the cost of ownership for the average new vehicle increases by $2,100.

CoPIRG joined a number of Colorado clean car advocates in voicing our opposition to the rule Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, Environmental Defence Fund, Colorado Sierra Club, Environment Colorado,  NRDC, E2-Environmental Entrepreneurs, Protect Our Winters, and Conservation Colorado:

In a statement, Danny Katz, CoPIRG Director said “Clean car standards are a proven way to reduce air pollution while saving people at the pump. The advancements we’ve seen in fuel-efficient cars show these standards do not need to be changed. The Trump administration should drop their proposal to throw clean air efforts into reverse and should focus instead on protecting our health now and into the future.”