The following League of Conservation Voters letter, and a letter from 25 groups were sent to the US House of Representatives in opposition to H.R. 1435, the so-called Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act:
September 12, 2023
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510
Re: Oppose H.R. 1435, the so-called Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, that would undermine state authority to set clean vehicle standards
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) believes that everyone has a right to clean air, clean water, accessible public lands, and a safe climate protected by a just and equitable democracy. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.
LCV urges you to vote NO on H.R. 1435, the so-called Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act. If passed, this bill would block California, and at least a dozen other states, from setting strong clean vehicle standards. Strong clean vehicle standards are critically important to clean our air, deliver consumers savings on the cost of owning a car, and tackle the climate crisis. The current and future competitiveness of our manufacturing and vehicle industries hinges on the shift to clean zero emissions vehicles, and the federal incentives of the Inflation Reduction Act, the affordable clean energy plan passed last Congress, have already resulted in $154 billion of private investments in over 300 electric vehicle projects and 188,000 new jobs.
The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution and is a major threat to public health. Exposure to air pollution from light-duty vehicles increases the risk of asthma attacks, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, and premature death. Additionally, low-wealth communities and communities of color are disproportionately exposed to this dangerous pollution. Our country’s harmful history of housing segregation and redlining has forced such communities to areas closest to major highways, freight hubs, and high-traffic areas. Strong clean vehicle standards adopted by states can help rein in pollution from dirty vehicles to help protect communities and advance environmental justice. These strong state standards have also encouraged cleaner cars across the country and reinforced federal standards to deliver more efficient, clean, and affordable vehicles to drivers everywhere.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have committed to enacting stronger clean car standards like the ones that would be blocked by this bill. Last March, the EPA reaffirmed the authority of California and other states under the Clean Air Act to set such health protections. These standards on new vehicles will not restrict consumer choice or force consumers to buy EVs – even when these limits on pollution are implemented over the rest of this decade, the majority of vehicles sold on the new and used car market will still be gas-powered. That said, research from Consumer Reports indicates that even today it is cheaper to buy and operate the most popular electric vehicle models over the most popular and highest rated gas vehicles in the same vehicle class because of electric vehicles’ drastically lower fueling and maintenance costs.
This bill is a blatant attack on state authority under the Clean Air Act, and would undermine states’ ability to drive down vehicle pollution while spurring the auto manufacturing economy. We urge you to vote NO on H.R. 1435, which would ultimately limit vehicle choices for consumers, hinder climate progress, and put the health of communities across the country at risk. We will strongly consider including vote(s) on this bill in the 2023 Scorecard. If you would like more information, please reach out to a member of our government relations team.
September 12, 2023
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Hakeem Jeffries Democratic Leader
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
RE: Opposition to H.R.1435, The Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act
Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and Members of the House of Representatives:
On behalf of our millions of members and supporters, we write in strong opposition to the H.R.1435, The Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act (Joyce, PA-13), which will be considered by the House of Representatives.
H.R. 1435, The Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, aims to “amend the Clean Air Act to prevent the elimination of the sale of internal combustion engines” by restricting the ability for states to set emissions standards as currently allowed under the Act. This bill is a blatant attack on the Clean Air Act and state authority. For decades, the federal government has recognized California’s authority to enact clean air and climate programs to address its compelling need to reduce air pollution, and the right for other states to adopt these standards. These state actions have advanced emissions reduction technologies, enabling continued progress to cut harmful transportation pollution nationwide. Legislating away this authority would preclude the use of states as laboratories of innovation, interrupting the rate of technological and clean air progress, and violating the original intent of Congress when it explicitly granted states authority to adopt their own vehicle emission standards. It would set a dangerous precedent – injecting politics into deliberative processes that should instead be based on the best available science and the need to protect public health and welfare as the law requires.
Rather than recognize the twin crises of unmitigated climate change1 and public health impacts from transportation pollution2 and the transition to zero-emission vehicles underway3 this bill aim to stem the tide of progress towards clean air and a healthy future. We need to move forward, not backward. H.R. 1435 should be rejected outright.
Center for Biological Diversity
Clean Energy for America
Climate Action Campaign
Conservation Law Foundation
Ecology Center (of Michigan)
Elders Climate Action
Electric Vehicle Association
Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Environmental Protection Network
Hip Hop Caucus
Interfaith Power & Light
League of Conservation Voters (LCV)
Moms Clean Air Force
Mothers Out Front
National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of our low-income clients
Natural Resources Defense Council
Plug In America
Southern Environmental Law Center
Union of Concerned Scientists
CC: Members of the House of Representatives
2 https://blog.ucsusa.org/dave-reichmuth/air-pollution-from-cars-trucks-and-buses-in-the-u-s-everyone-is-exposed but-the-burdens-are-not-equally-shared/