August 2, 2018 -- Today, Mayor Turner and Climate Mayors from across America condemned the Trump Administration's new proposal to weaken vehicle efficiency standards and rescind California's waiver right to set strong greenhouse gas regulations — hindering U.S. efforts to curb auto emissions and the resulting air pollution.
Climate Mayors — the national coalition of 407 U.S. Mayors dedicated to pursuing solutions to global warming — denounces this unprecedented attack on both the environment and states' rights, and vows to continue moving forward on transportation policies that help reduce the impact of climate pollution.
In April of this year, Climate Mayors issued a statement as a response to the U.S. EPA’s announcement that it would be reevaluating the federal vehicle emissions standards currently in place. Mayor Turner and Climate Mayors unequivocally condemned the attack and plans to submit public comment on today’s proposal.
“Fuel economy standards make our air cleaner, make our dollars go farther, and make sense for Houstonians,” said Climate Mayors co-chair Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Transportation is responsible for 48% of Houston’s greenhouse gas emissions – the highest per capita of all US cities – and something we must address to move our city forward. Thankfully, technology is on our side and Climate Mayors across the country are committed to finding innovative solutions to climate challenges.”
"We cannot sacrifice the future of our planet on the altar of short-sighted and dangerous policies that serve narrow interests,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Extremely narrow interests: Automakers, consumers, and environmentalists agree that this rollback on progress helps no one and never should have seen the light of day. Their proposal directly threatens to stall the progress we have made in Los Angeles to take toxic fumes out of our air. This Administration wants us to pay more at the pump while ignoring the constant dangers that climate change poses to our country, to our children, and to generations ahead — another example of the disconnect between the thinking in Washington and the everyday needs of American families."
“Boston is committed to addressing climate change head-on, and today we reaffirm our promise to become carbon neutral by 2050,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Fighting climate change means fighting for all those affected by worsening air quality, extreme heat, eroding coastlines — issues that will continue to impact residents for generations to come. Removing environmental protections like the CAFE standards is not the answer. As Mayor, I will continue to work with cities across the country and around the world to uphold the tenets of the Paris Agreement and protect Boston against the very real impacts of climate change."
"The rollback by EPA of clean car standards represents the latest giveback to the interests of Big Oil at the expense of clean air and a healthy planet,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I am standing alongside other Climate Mayors as we take action to clean our own fleets and pursue climate action to the benefit of all our residents."
“I was proud to help strengthen federal emissions standards when I served in the Obama administration and am proud to stand with my colleagues in cities across America today to keep up the fight for clean air and a more sustainable future,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “While the Trump EPA is asleep at the wheel, Chicago will continue to increase the size of our electric vehicle fleet and modernize mass transit because it’s the right thing to do for our city and the responsible thing to do for future generations."
“Seattle will continue embracing the future of transportation and clean energy innovation. Now is the time to double down—not pull back—on policies like fuel economy standards that save money, protect our children’s health, preserve our environment, and create economic opportunity today and long into the future,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Cities are dealing with the negative impacts of climate change today, and we don’t have the luxury of denying climate science. Seattle is committed to protecting our community and standing against the Trump administration’s dangerous, irresponsible agenda.”
“Baltimore strongly supports requirements for cleaner vehicles to combat the effects of climate change and to reduce the health burdens faced by neighborhoods near busy roadways,” said Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh.
“California’s common-sense vehicle emissions requirements are designed to improve air quality in our communities and reduce pollution disrupting our planet,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “I hope the EPA learns from the world’s leading cities, states, and businesses gathering in San Francisco for the September 2018 Global Climate Action Summit as we demonstrate how accelerating emission reductions can lead to healthier communities and a stronger economy.”
Transportation is the largest and fastest-growing source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. To address this challenge, the Obama Administration finalized new fuel economy standards in 2012 with the support of auto companies. Following the Trump Administration’s initial efforts to weaken the national standards, seventeen states and the District of Columbia — representing over 40 percent of the U.S. car market — filed a lawsuit challenging the potential rollbacks.
Last year, Climate Mayors led the release of an EV RFI with 30 cities to demonstrate demand for over 114,000 electric vehicles, trucks, and equipment. As co-chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Turner is committed to leading the fight against climate change and will continue to hasten the transition to more efficient and zero emissions vehicles.
For more information, visit the City of Houston’s Sustainability Office website www.greenhoustontx.gov.