Minneapolis authorized to join as amicus in defending federal ‘clean car’ standards


The Minneapolis City Council has authorized joining as an amicus supporting 17 states and the District of Columbia in defending the 2016 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “clean car” standards that would reduce gasoline and diesel use and greenhouse gas pollution. The goal is 54.5 mpg across a company’s fleet by 2025 with a range of 31-61 mpg depending on the type and size of vehicle. These standards are sometimes referred to as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards.

The federal government is poised to issue a proposed rule laying out weaker standards. The EPA administrator has determined that the “…current standards are based on outdated information, and that more recent information suggests that the current standards may be too stringent.”

The EPA’s own analysis completed during the Obama administration shows that over the lifetime of these cars, the vehicle emission standards approved in 2016 to take effect in 2022-2025 would:

  • Save consumers more than $1,650 per vehicle.
  • Reduce oil consumption by nearly 40 billion gallons of refined gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • Decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 540 million metric tons.

Chapter 6 of the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan lists supporting the federal fuel efficiency standards as a key strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Minneapolis. The plan notes the scientific consensus that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are destabilizing the earth’s climate, and that human activity is the primary driver of these emissions. Without rapid action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, climate change effects will threaten economic livelihood; public health; and supplies of food, fresh water and power. Around the world, climate change impacts are already being felt through droughts, extreme weather events, disrupted ecosystems, rising sea levels and ocean acidification.

The states in the amicus brief include Minnesota, California, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, New York and Washington, as well as the commonwealths of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia.


Aug. 31, 2018

Published Aug 31, 2018



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