Colorado joins federal lawsuit to protect state’s clean car standards
DENVER — Governor Jared Polis and Attorney General Phil Weiser today announced that Colorado has joined a multistate lawsuit to challenge the federal government’s unlawful regulation to preempt the state’s Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards. These standards — authorized in 2013 by a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and adopted by Colorado and 13 other states and the District of Columbia — are a key part of state efforts to protect public health and the environment. In the lawsuit, the coalition asserts that this Preemption Rule is unlawful and should be rescinded.
“We won’t let Washington DC bureaucrats and lawyers interfere with our plans to reduce smog and improve our health in Colorado. Rather than infringing upon state’s rights, the Trump administration should be working with us on solutions to an issue that has a long history of bipartisan consensus and industry support,” said Governor Polis. “My administration is working to ensure Colorado is focused on a transition to cleaner vehicles which promises benefits to consumers, our businesses, the health of our communities and our environment. Consumers, industry and the states are working together on common sense solutions to reduce smog. What part of cleaner air, more consumer choice and lower costs does the President disagree with?”
“By taking this unprecedented and unjustified action of revoking the waiver, the federal government is failing to respect states’ authority to protect the public health and environment when it comes to setting emissions standards from cars and trucks. Colorado has a bold plan to improve air quality, give customers more choice in the clean-vehicle market, and transition our state to a clean-energy economy. The largest automakers in the country support the state’s clean car standards as an appropriate response to climate change. I will continue to fight for clean air and Colorado’s right to protect its residents,” said Weiser.
Under the federal Clean Air Act waiver, Colorado may set its own vehicle emissions standards if they go beyond the federal government’s standards.
Under the Polis administration, Colorado recently adopted a ZEV standard to help reduce smog and increase consumer choice. The state negotiated with industry to present an alternative to the Air Quality Control Commission that was supported by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, representing the manufacturers of 99 percent of the vehicles sold in Colorado.
The policy requires automakers to offer more battery-powered options, with ZEVs accounting for at least five percent of cars sold by Colorado dealers in 2023. According to the Governor’s Energy Office, the policy will put 800,000 ZEVs on the highway and reduce emissions by three million metric tons by 2030.
Earlier this year, Gov. Polis signed a letter along with twenty-two Governors urging the Trump administration to halt their plans to roll back vehicle pollution and fuel economy standards.