Press Releases

Carper Statement on Voluntary Agreement between California and Four Automakers on Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards

Top Democrat on Senate EPW Committee urges other automakers, Trump Administration to adopt the deal

Jul 25 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After repeatedly urging the Trump Administration to work with automakers and the state of California to strike a deal on fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards, and following his office’s participation in the discussions that led to today’s announcement, today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, commended the state of California and Ford Motor Company, Honda Motor Company, Volkswagen and BMW for their leadership in reaching an agreement that will protect clean air, promote American jobs and support the development of cars of the future. 

“I commend California and these automakers for working together in good faith to find a principled compromise that will support the development of the clean cars of the future,” said Senator Carper. “I urge all automakers to embrace this responsible path and seize this important opportunity. It remains my hope that this administration will abandon its efforts which are reckless, illegal and bound to send the automotive sector into years of litigation and economic disarray, and instead adopt the terms of this agreement.”

The agreement announced today with automakers which together account for about 30 percent of US vehicle sales will achieve continuous annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollutants while saving consumers money. If adopted broadly, compliance with these principles would deliver more greenhouse gas emission reductions than under the bifurcated system that could result from the finalization of the Trump proposal to roll back the federal rules, which would lead to one set of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions rules in California and 13 other states and a second, weaker set of rules in the rest of the country.

Since the beginning of the Trump Administration, Senator Carper has met repeatedly with Trump Administration officials and urged them to seek common ground with all stakeholders:

  • In May 2019, Senator Carper and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) wrote a letter to Administrator Wheeler demanding documents explaining numerous comments from Administrator Wheeler about EPA’s fuel economy rollback that plainly contradict data presented to him by EPA’s own experts.
  • In December 2018, Senators Carper and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) demanded disclosure of the administration’s contacts with the oil industry regarding the fuel economy rule, after reporting revealed details of a covert lobbying campaign driven by fossil fuel groups to weaken fuel economy rules and increase demand for oil consumption.
  • In an October 2018 letter, Senator Carper urged Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to abandon plans to dismantle the clean car standards, highlighting a non-exhaustive list of 10 major legal deficiencies in the administration’s proposal.
  • Senator Carper led an October 2018 letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and then-Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) releasing documents proving that Congress rejected legislative efforts to preempt or limit California’s authority in 2007.
  • In an August 2018 hearing, Senator Carper questioned then-Acting Administrator Wheeler about the proposed clean car rollback’s flaws.
  • After EPA and DOT released their proposal to dismantle the clean car rules in August 2018, Senator Carper blasted the plan, saying that if finalized it would create additional uncertainty for American automakers and represent a step back in the fight against climate change.
  • After Senator Carper’s office obtained a leaked copy of the draft clean car rollback, the ranking member in May 2018 sent a letter to then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and DOT Secretary Elaine Chao expressing alarm at a plan that would weaken standards and preempt states’ authority.

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