President Obama gives Colorado the green light on clean cars

Environment Colorado

President Barack Obama today directed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its March 2008 decision to block 14 states, representing roughly 50 percent of the auto market, from adopting a vehicle emissions standard designed to reduce air and global warming pollution from cars and trucks.  The President also directed the U.S. Department of Transportation to move forward with standards to improve the efficiency of vehicles nationwide.

Environment Colorado Energy Advocate Keith Hay issued the following statement in response:

“While Colorado moves into a 21st century energy economy, the nation’s car makers have been stuck in the mud.

“The clean cars program will jumpstart the nation’s auto industry, increasing much-needed investments in technologies that will save driver money at the pump and cut global warming pollution at the same time.

“It all means more choice for car buyers because auto dealers will finally have smarter, more innovative cars to by on the auto lots.

“Global Warming threatens Colorado’s leading industries such as agriculture and outdoor recreation. The things people cherish most about Colorado are also at risk— our hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.  Today’s decision gives Colorado another arrow in the quiver to fight global warming.

“After being stuck in reverse for eight years when it comes to clean energy and global warming policy, President Obama has taken America from 0 to 60 in six days. From here on, science and not special interests will be in the driver’s seat for America.

“Together with the commitment President Obama made to clean energy in the economic recovery package, this announcement will put cleaner cars on the road and America in the fast lane to reducing our dependence on oil, fighting global warming, and kick-starting the clean, green economy.”  

Background on the Clean Cars Program:

  • Implementing the clean cars program in Colorado would reduce global warming pollution by 19.4 million metric tons, an amount equivalent to 3.6 million of today’s cars from Colorado’s roads.  In addition, the standard will reduce oil consumption by 2.2 billion barrels, saving drivers $4.2 billion at the pump.
  • According to the state’s Colorado Climate Action Plan and analysis done by Environment Colorado in A Bueprint for Action, passenger vehicles are the second largest source of global warming pollution in Colorado. The report can be downloaded from the following website: .
  • In March 2008, in an unprecedented action, the Bush administration denied a waiver request by state’s seeking to implement the clean cars program, blocking the states’ global warming emissions tailpipe standards.
  • In 2007, Congress passed the first increase in fuel economy standards in 32 years.  The Bush administration never finalized the standards to implement the increase.

Click here more information on the clean cars program and its benefits to Colorado.