Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown announced he has joined a coalition of 26 states and cities in submitting a comment letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EP A) regarding its proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria pollutant standards for light-and medium-duty highway vehicles, model years 2027 through 2032, which include passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and vans.
The transportation sector is the largest source of GHG emissions in the United States, with light-duty vehicles being the largest contributor within that sector. In addition, light-and medium-duty vehicles are a significant source of non-GHG pollutants that detrimentally affect air quality. The impacts of climate change, including those from extreme heat, flooding and drought, and exposure to existing pollution, disproportionately harm overburdened communities.
“Climate change is not a problem that affects everyone equally. Overburdened communities bear the brunt of its impacts, compounded further by pollution and environmental hazards so often concentrated near predominantly Black and Brown communities,” said Attorney General Brown. “We’ve got the technology and we’ve got the know-how, so let’s put them to use. We can reduce emissions, improve air quality, and protect our environment and public health. We know we can do better, and we know it’s worth it.”
In its letter, the coalition asserts that:
Strong emissions standards are necessary to protect the environment and public health – from extreme heat to wildfires to drought, the United States is already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change, which will continue to mount and compound with rising concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere; and Technologies necessary to reduce GHGs and criteria pollutants from new motor vehicles already exist and are widely in use in the market today.
While EPA’s proposal would lead to measurable progress, Attorney General Brown and the coalition urges the agency to move forward with more stringent GHG and criteria pollutant standards, which technological advancements make feasible nationwide, to help further reduce the threats to public health and welfare from vehicle pollution.
Joining Attorney General Brown in submitting the letter are the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, and the Cities of Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, and Oakland.