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New Mexico signs on to ‘Clean Car Promise’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico has joined the rest of the U.S. Climate Alliance in opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed changes to nationwide vehicle emissions standards.

The group of 24 governors announced the “Clean Car Promise” on Tuesday. The statement criticizes the EPA’s proposed rollbacks of national car emissions standards enacted in 2012.

“States have been stepping up to protect our environment and our citizens, and will continue to do so until we have a viable partner at the federal level,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “We will continue to oppose reckless, thoughtless policy that negatively impacts the air people breathe.”

Data from the EPA and the Department of Transportation estimate that the EPA’s proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) vehicle standards would increase vehicle affordability with a $252.6 billion reduction in regulatory costs.

The data also states the new rules would result in a 2%-3% increase in daily fuel consumption.

But the Clean Car Promise says emissions regulations policies should strive for “meaningful annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions” while still achieving affordable vehicles.

“We are already seeing declining air quality in some areas of our state,” said state Environment Secretary James Kenney. “Emissions regulations are imperative to protecting public health, and the environment in New Mexico and across the country.”

A New Mexico Environment Department news release said the proposed federal rollbacks would be at odds with Lujan Grisham’s initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other vehicle pollutants in the state.

New Mexico joined the bipartisan U.S. Climate Alliance in January.