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Attorney General Josh Stein Defends Vehicle Emission Standards

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today filed a motion to intervene in a case to defend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule for light- and medium-duty vehicle emissions standards for model years 2027-2032. These include passenger cars, large pickup trucks, and vans. The rule sets stricter tailpipe emissions standards for harmful air pollutants, including greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. The rule is being challenged by states that want to curb the agency’s efforts to reduce transportation-related emissions.

“This rule protects our air and health and gives automakers a reasonable set of guidelines to follow when building new cars,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “The EPA is taking responsible, necessary steps to protect the air we breathe and to address climate change, and I support these efforts.”

Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, and passenger cars account for more than half of those transportation emissions. Motor vehicle emissions also contribute to ozone, particulate matter, and air toxicants, all of which are linked to serious health issues including premature death, respiratory illness, cardiovascular problems, and cancer.

The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set emission standards for air pollutants from new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines that cause or contribute to air pollution and endanger public health or welfare. The EPA’s rule will lower light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and medium-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by 44 percent compared to model year 2026 levels, and it will encourage the ongoing transition to electric vehicles. The emissions standards will also cut nitrogen oxides and non-methane organic gases by half and particulate matter by more than 95 percent.

Attorney General Stein joined the attorneys general of California, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, the Commonwealths of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, the City and County of Denver, and the Cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York in filing this motion.

A copy of the motion can be found here.