Nevada's governor announced Monday that the state will adopt tougher emission standards for vehicles set by neighboring California, a blow to the Trump administration's efforts to roll back vehicle standards passed under the Obama administration.
Gov. Steve SisolakSteve SisolakMichele Fiore announces campaign for Nevada governor Nevada governor Sisolak injured in car accident, released from hospital Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada MORE (D) said in a statement that the time was right for Nevada to confront climate change and work to develop sustainable transit options, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Now more than ever, it is critical for Nevada to continue accelerating efforts to address climate change including capturing the many benefits of sustainable transportation options for Nevadans,” Sisolak said. “Now is the time to set a new trajectory that will lead to healthier communities across the Silver State and establish Nevada as a leader in the clean transportation economy.”
Local activists told the newspaper that the changes were a result of concerns over air pollution in the Las Vegas region, which is one of the worst-hit by smog in the country. The state's decision comes as California is engaged in a legal battle with the White House over the Trump administration's efforts to end the Clean Air Act's exception that allows the state to set its own, tougher emission standards and allows other states to jump on board with California's standards.
California officials have largely resisted the Trump administration's efforts to roll back emission standards, thereby creating two sets of standards for vehicles in the U.S.
One local activist told the Times that an increase in wildfires and other effects of climate change necessitated Nevada's decision to join with California in adopting the tougher standards.
“Nevada is already feeling a lot of severe climate change impacts,” said Patricia Valderrama of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “There’s a growing interest in more environmentally friendly options and gaining access to those options."