Wyden, Merkley push back on emission standards rollback

WASHINGTON – Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., joined Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., this week to reintroduce a resolution in response to the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back federal fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards they said are designed to fight climate change and protect Americans’ access to clean air.

The senators, along with 31 of their colleagues, reintroduced the resolution in advance of the administration’s expected move to formally revoke California’s authority to set its own automobile emission standards — standards the state of Oregon also adopted. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., will introduce a companion resolution in the House, the senators said in a news release Thursday.

“Republicans claim to be the party of states’ rights, but actually only care selectively when it means lining Big Oil’s pockets and endangering the health of our planet and all Americans,” Wyden said. “We’re in the midst of a climate crisis, but Trump and his cadre of climate change deniers and liars continue to bury their heads in the sand. Congress ought to protect and encourage states in their efforts to be leaders in the fight against climate change.”

“From more frequent, extreme wildfires that blanket our communities with smoke, to the impacts of ocean acidification on our coastal economies, Oregonians are already facing the effects of climate chaos,” said Merkley. “The people of Oregon have consistently supported a variety policies to preserve our state’s natural treasures and make sure our state is habitable for generations to come. This resolution is a critical step forward in safeguarding those measures from an administration determined to sell off our environment to the highest bidder, with no regard for the health and well-being of our communities.”

“As the climate crisis escalates, more states are looking to strong vehicle standards to cut emissions and save consumers millions at the pump. The law is clear—California can set emissions standards and other states can adopt those standards. We applaud Senator Kamala Harris and Representative Mark DeSaulnier for introducing this resolution that recognizes and defends state authority,” Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said.

In addition to Wyden, Merkley and Harris, the resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Tom Carper, D-Del., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Chris Coons, D-Del., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Bob Casey, D-Penn., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill. 

A copy of the bill text is available here.