September 12, 2007

Road Looks Clear to Clean Cars

Today in Vermont, Judge William Sessions ruled against the automakers and for the Sierra Club, the states of Vermont and New York, and other environmental groups, and opened the door for states like Illinois to mandate cutting global warming emissions from cars. Over the vigorous objections of the automakers, he ruled that New York and Vermont may proceed with enacting the California Clean Car (Pavley) Standards, pending EPA approval. These standards, adopted by California and at least 11 other states, and proposed by pending state legislation in Springfield, will reduce global warming emissions from cars by 30 percent when fully implemented in 2016.

In Illinois, the cleaner standard would be required under House Bill 3424, sponsored by State Representative Karen May (D-Highland Park). State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) has introduced similar legislation, Senate Bill 663. Clean cars have been recommended to Gov. Blagojevich by the Clean Car and Energy Efficiency Working Group he appointed in 2006, and most recently by the Illinois Climate Change Advisory Group.

Today’s ruling makes it very clear that Illinois indeed has the authority to choose cleaner, more efficient cars. Gov. Blagojevich and state lawmakers are considering proposals to bring cleaner cars to Illinois, and we urge them to act quickly so we can all start saving money at the gas pump, breathing cleaner air, and making a big dent in global warming pollution.

The cleaner car standard will mean more vehicle choices for Illinois drivers, so matter what kind of car you need, you will have choices that will go farther on a gallon of gas, and pollute less. Adopting California standards here will save Illinois drivers 3 billion gallons of gasoline per year by the year 2030, which will mean money that would have gone to big oil companies will instead stay in our pockets.

The faster Illinois chooses clean cars, the faster we all will enjoy the benefits, and a cleaner, more affordable future.

The decision can be found at: