Letters to the Editor

Florida benefits with clean car standards

Last week, the Trump administration issued its controversial proposal recommending flat lining fuel efficiency standards at 2020 levels and revoking California’s car emissions waiver.

Under the Clean Air Act, states can join California in enforcing clean car emissions standards that are higher than those imposed by the federal government. Thirteen other states, as well as the District of Columbia, have already signed on.

These states are known as Section 177 states, and they represent over one-third of the nation’s auto market.

Florida’s Environmental Commission approved the Section 177 standards in 2008 and Gov. Charlie Crist announced plans for Florida to adopt the regulations.

However, legislation in the state’s legislature was withdrawn and postponed, and ultimately repealed in 2012.

Colorado is the most recent addition to the Section 177 states. Gov. John Hickenlooper announced in June that he signed an executive order to become part of the coalition.

Florida can also join the Section 177 states through a similar measure or by approval of the state’s legislature, bringing cleaner air to the state and consumer savings at the pump.

In addition, the state can join an 18-state lawsuit against the EPA over the standards.

The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that Florida has already saved $2.2 billion to date with strong fuel efficiency standards.

Additionally, households will be $3,050 richer by 2030 with strict standards; would save enough gasoline to fill more than 32,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools by 2030; and can expect 33,000 new jobs from savings that families invest back into the local economy by 2030.

Ashita Gona,

communications associate,

Climate Nexus,

Washington, D.C.