Gov. Peter Shumlin today took a strong position in support of fuel security, jobs, and a healthier future for Vermonters and all Americans, writing to President Barack Obama to voice support for a single, national emission standard for passenger vehicles and light trucks.
California and the federal government are in negotiations to harmonize their standards in to a single national standard. Gov. Shumlin wrote the President and California Gov. Jerry Brown to express Vermont's commitment to efforts to fight climate change.
"As Governor, it is a priority of my Administration to work towards stricter regulations for greenhouse gas standards. Your efforts to merge California's greenhouse gas standards with federal standards are vital," Gov. Shumlin wrote to the President. He said states like Vermont lack the authority to establish emissions standards, making a tougher national standard an imperative. He also voiced concern that California's standard not be weakened at the national level.
"I care about this issue for Vermonters, but also for all Americans. Our nation's dependence on oil for transportation continues to pose a serious threat to our economy, security, public health and environment," Gov. Shumlin wrote.
Vermont is one of 13 states and the District of Columbia which have voluntarily adopted California's vehicle emissions standards.
The Governor stated in a similar letter to Gov. Brown, "In the state of Vermont, we are watching with interest as you propose changes to California's standards for this September and continue negotiations over the standards for model year 2017-2025 passenger vehicles with federal officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation.
"We can all enjoy the benefits of cleaner air, lower carbon emissions, and healthier communities, and at the same time make life simpler for auto manufacturers by having national vehicle emission standards." Governor Shumlin said.
Cleaner cars and cleaner fuels are particularly important for Vermonters because emissions from vehicles make up more than 40 percent of the state's greenhouse gas emissions.