Sierra Club California is appealing to its members to take action for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Sierra Club is one of the large environmental organizations that have been quite active federally and at the state level as government wrestles with automotive and emissions policies. Its involvement in the California debate is significant.

The ZEV Program of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) resulted in thousands of electric cars on the roads of California from 1997 through 2003. Revisions to the program in 2003 reduced dramatically the numbers of ZEVs required of automakers in the near term.

Carmakers promised time would allow alternative zero-emission technology to become commercializable. As we mentioned a bit yesterday, the 2003 revision permitted carmakers to follow their chosen path, and therefore didn't require higher numbers for more than a decade. Now the promised 25,000 ZEVs in the 2014-2017 period are within view. And CARB staff is advocating that that number be slashed by 90 percent. Sierra Club California believes that CARB should hold automakers to their 2003 commitment.

This is not a narrow California concern. As Sierra Club states in its Action Alert, "California is the only state allowed under the Clean Air Act to set tougher limits on vehicle emissions than federal regulations. Other states can choose to follow California's standards, and at least 10 states hope to do so. The CARB vote has national implications."

The Board is set to vote on March 27.


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