California Defends Right to Fight Pollution

SACRAMENTO – Today, California defended its clean car standards from a challenge led by Republicans and the fossil fuel industry in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Governor Ronald Reagan created the nation’s first clean air regulator here in California, and President Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act to preserve our right to keep driving efforts to cut pollution,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “But the Republicans of today reject the idea that pollution is bad and clean air is good, trying to use the courts to legislate their backwards ideology. We’re going to fight like hell to preserve that once-bipartisan tradition and leave our communities better off for our kids and their grandkids.”

“The attacks on California’s current and historical efforts to address vehicle pollution of all kinds are misguided and misplaced,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Vehicle pollution continues to be a pressing problem in California. I’m grateful that my team was in court this week vigorously defending the progress we have made and our ability to keep moving forward.”

“Congress has long preserved California’s ability to regulate vehicle emissions within the state and provide solutions to communities that for decades have endured some of the worst pollution in the nation,” said California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair Liane Randolph. “Our regulations have propelled innovation in vehicle-emission control technologies that help clean the air Californians breathe. We look forward to the court affirming more than 50 years of that Congressional choice.”

The case centers on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision last year to allow California to continue implementing its clean car rules via a waiver under the Clean Air Act. California was also in court yesterday standing alongside the Biden-Harris Administration to defend federal clean car standards.


Since the Governor’s executive order in 2020 requiring all new car sales to be zero-emission by 2035, ZEV sales have risen dramatically.

  • 25.4% of all new cars sold in California last quarter were ZEVs, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC)
    • 125,939 ZEV sales in Q2 2023
    • 1,623,211 total ZEV sales to date
  • 34% of new ZEVs sold in the U.S. are sold in California, according to the Veloz EV Market Report
  • If California were a country, we’d rank 4th in EV sales behind China, the U.S. and Germany
  • Thousands of dollars in grants and rebates available for low-income Californians (learn more at
  • The historic $52 billion California Climate Commitment includes over $10 billion for zero-emission cars, trucks, buses and infrastructure.