Vermont Journal of Environmental Law

Volume 21 (2019-2020)

Driving Change: A Route to More Sensible Vehicle Emissions Regulation

Over the past century, gas-powered vehicles have played an important role in everyday American life. Vehicles have long been a primary mode of transportation in the U.S., shaping the nation’s cities, towns, and culture. However, they have also become a major contributor to the air quality and CO2 emissions challenges facing the country. For decades, Congress has sought to mitigate these problems through legislation that empowers administrative agencies to regulate automobile emissions. However, urban smog and other significant environmental harms from these emissions continue.  Growing concerns about climate change are increasing the importance of these issues as well. Unfortunately, even as the consequences of vehicle emissions become more apparent, the federal government’s efforts to reduce emissions seem to be weakening under the pressures of powerful industry groups and short-sighted politics. These developments suggest that major changes to the nation’s vehicle emissions regulatory structure are needed to effectively transition the nation to a cleaner, more sustainable energy system

Driving Change: A Route to More Sensible Vehicle Emissions RegulationDriving Change: A Route to More Sensible Vehicle Emissions Regulation