Dear President Biden and EPA Administrator Regan,
As faith leaders from many diverse religious and spiritual traditions, we believe that humanity shares a responsibility to be stewards of Creation. All of us must work together to reduce pollution and implement just and equitable solutions to the climate crisis, and our national leaders have a sacred role in helping to achieve these goals.
Therefore, we are united in our call for continuing to reduce vehicle emissions. As the United States builds a clean energy economy, we must focus on the sector that now generates the largest percentage of climate pollution: transportation. The clean car standards are the most effective policy currently available to contribute to climate solutions.
In 2012, auto companies, federal agencies, and the state of California agreed to a long overdue new set of clean car standards to boost vehicles’ fuel efficiency and reduce carbon pollution from tailpipes. Implementing these standards was a critical step in our moral obligation to address the climate crisis. However, this significant step forward was rolled back under the previous administration. Now, we are calling on the Biden Administration to move forward with stronger national clean car standards.
The climate crisis is a challenge of racial, economic, and generational justice, and we call on the Biden administration to meet it with an eye towards the most vulnerable in our communities. Choosing to make less efficient vehicles isn’t just wasteful—it is a moral travesty. Children, our elders, low wealth and Black and Brown communities are all suffering disproportionately due to increased pollution and climate-fueled disasters.
As religious leaders, we urge you to enact the strongest possible standards to reduce vehicle pollution. We ask that you:
- Restore national standards and revise them beyond levels set during the Obama-Biden administration;
- Establish a 2030 standard for cars and light-duty trucks that achieves fleet average greenhouse gas emissions 60 percent or more below today’s average;
- Put the nation on a trajectory to make all new cars and light-duty trucks zero-emission vehicles no later than 2035;
- Ensure all new trucks and buses are zero-emission no later than 2040.
We urge you to consider this moral opportunity and enact bold new standards that truly envision the best for our communities, our nation, and our world.