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Letter to Six Leading Car Manufactures in the United States

Letter to Six Leading Car Manufactures in the United States

Governor Richardson Calls on Car Manufacturers to End Opposition to States' Efforts to Reduce Vehicle Pollution, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

New Mexico Joins 12 States in Calling on Car Manufacturers to Support Clean Tailpipe Standards

Today Governor Bill Richardson and twelve other Governors sent a joint letter to six leading car manufacturers in the United States and called on them to stop fighting state implementation of clean tailpipe standards. After the electricity sector, passenger vehicle and light trucks make up the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

"In the absence of federal action and leadership in Washington, states are taking the lead to reduce vehicle emissions and fight global warming," said Governor Bill Richardson. "The car manufacturing lobby should end its legal challenges to stronger mandates reducing vehicle pollution and join our fight against global warming. Using current technology, car manufacturers could reduce vehicle pollution by 30 percent in less than a decade."

Clean tailpipe standards, first adopted in California in 2004, would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in New Mexico from new vehicles about 30 percent, phased in starting in calendar year 2010. These standards can be met with existing "off-the-shelf" automotive technologies. NMED held two public meetings on the standard in recent months. A public hearing is expected to be held in November before the Environmental Improvement Board rules on the standard.

The Governors' letter was issued on the same day that major car companies lost a landmark legal battle against Vermont's adoption of clean tailpipe standards. Today a Vermont judge ruled against the car companies, adding greater weight to the message in the Governors' letter. The Vermont decision is available at:
http://www.vtd.uscourts./Supporting%20Files/Cases/05cv302.pdfgov. A similar legal challenge is under way in California courts.

From the Letter:

"...We do not believe it is productive for your industry to continue to fight state implementation of clean tailpipe standards. As Governors committed to addressing the issue of climate change, we ask that you withdraw your legal challenges to clean vehicle standards and being working with us to meet our join obligations and begin reversing the threat of global warming.

We would prefer to follow a path that encourages innovation not litigation. You manufacture and sell the automobiles used by the vast majority of drivers in the United States and Canada. You are building and selling clean vehicles in Europe and Japan. It is clear to us that there is a bottom-line upside to this approach. For example, the Ford Escape hybrid was voted North American Truck of the Year in 2005.

Your companies are on record as supporting efforts to combat climate change. Selling cars that meet the clean car standards is a major step in fulfilling your commitment. It is time for us to work together to reduce the transportation sector's contributions to global warming in our states and provinces. In this spirit, we stand ready to meet with you to establish a basis for partnership rather than litigation as we work to meet our joint obligations to reverse global warming.


Janet Napolitano
Governor of Arizona

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California

M. Jodi Rell
Governor of Connecticut

John E. Baldacci
Governor of Maine

Martin O'Malley
Governor of Maryland

Deval Patrick
Governor of Massachusetts

Bill Richardson
Governor of New Mexico

Eliot Spitzer
Governor of New York

Theodore R. Kulongoski
Governor of Oregon

Edward Rendell
Governor of Pennsylvania

Donald L. Carcieri
Governor of Rhode Island

Jon M Huntsman, Jr.
Governor of Utah

Christine O. Gregoire
Governor of Washington

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