Nevada rebuffs Trump EPA, considers cleaner California vehicle standards

Nevada could be the next U.S. state to join California vehicle emissions standards, as opposed to the lax standards and lack of electric-vehicle targets recently enacted by the Trump EPA. 

On Monday, Nevada governor Steve Sisolak announced the Clean Cars Nevada initiative, which aims to adopt new regulations leading to an increase in the number of electric and zero-emission vehicles in the state starting in 2024.

California Clean Car Standards have been adopted either fully or partially in 14 other states, and Nevada is considering the ZEV program and electric vehicle mandate that’s required in most of those states. 

The Boring Company Las Vegas Convention Center station rendering

The Boring Company Las Vegas Convention Center station rendering

The state is leaving some time for discussion, however. Through 2021, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) will hold public workshops and engage with stakeholders “to gather comprehensive input and feedback across all impacted sectors of our economy and throughout every community in Nevada.”

NDEP released a report earlier this year that found the transportation sector to be the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state through 2030. Electricity generation had been the largest source of GHG until 2015. Meanwhile, the state has adopted wide-ranging GHG reduction goals that target 28% below 2005 levels by 2025, 45% below 2005 levels by 2030, and near-zero by 2050.

“Establishing new Clean Car Standards will help address the harmful impacts of climate change stemming from vehicle tailpipe pollution, while simultaneously advancing a stronger, more resilient economy for Nevada,” said Bradley Crowell, the director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. 

Tesla Gigafactory battery plant in Nevada

Tesla Gigafactory battery plant in Nevada

Nevada is no stranger to the green-energy transition or to electric cars. It’s the home of the Tesla Gigafactory, near Reno, and by the end of 2023 will likely have the largest solar array in the U.S.

The move also gives California another ally in its assertion that under the federal Clean Air Act it can set its own greenhouse-gas standards—a right that the Trump EPA has attempted to revoke

In March, as the lung-related coronavirus pandemic was nearing a peak, the EPA released its Final Rule for U.S. emissions and fuel economy requirements. The move, considered a gift to the oil industry, will result in higher levels of vehicle emissions and the consumption of about 78 billion gallons of additional fuel, according to the administration’s own analysis. 

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