California leads the nation in passing progressive environmentalpolicies. I have worked to make sure that the federal government does not prohibit California from implementing those policies. In 2007, the EPA under the Bush administration rejected California's request to regulate motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and to require higher fuel economy standards. In 2009, I introduced the Right to Clean Vehicles Act to force the EPA to allow California to regulate vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. Shortly thereafter, the Obama administration's EPA reversed the previous decision and allowed California to maintain its regulations. Subsequently, the administration issued new nationwide rules designed to reach reduction levels similar to those adopted by the State of California. The new rules will be phased-in beginning in model
year 2012 for cars and light trucks (pickups, vans, and SUVs). The rules are estimated to increase fuel economy standards to as much as 35.5 miles per gallon by model year 2016. The standards will require
cars, SUVs, minivans, and other light trucks to meet combined emissions levels that the agency estimates will average a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to current levels.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in May 2011 requirements for new fuel economy window labels that U.S. auto dealers place on new cars and light trucks in their showrooms. This new labeling should help consumers make better informed decisions.