New rules would reduce vehicle tailpipe pollution and make electric vehicles more available

New Mexicans petition State to Adopt Advanced Clean Cars Standards

June 11, 2021

Tammy Fiebelkorn, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) | 505-410-3884
Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter | 505-715-8388


[ALBUQUERQUE, NM] – A broad coalition of New Mexican citizen groups filed a formal petition yesterday asking the state to adopt Advanced Clean Cars Standards by the end of 2021. Clean car standards are a critical step in resolving the climate crisis. The standards would limit pollution from vehicle tailpipes in New Mexico and require auto manufacturers to deliver an increasing number of zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs) to the state.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham first tasked her administration with looking into advanced clean car standards in her climate-focused Executive Order 2019-003, in the first days of her tenure, then publicly committed to the rules later that year. Since then, the policy has been included in the state’s 2019 and 2020 annual Climate Task Force report’s action plan. In the most recent report, the state committed to begin a rulemaking this spring. This petition would enable the state to act on that timeline.

In April, Governor Grisham signed on to a letter thanking the Biden Administration for moving to reverse Trump Administration rules that sought to block state implementation of advanced standards. The letter expressed support for adopting even stronger standards than the current advanced rules.

New Mexicans know that the climate crisis is urgent. That urgency motivates this petition in supporting the state’s timely adoption of advanced clean car standards. Because of the timing of the process for new rule development, if New Mexico misses the window of adopting standards this year, it likely couldn’t implement the standard until after 2026 — much too long to wait.

In the petition, the coalition supplied a draft rule and the regulatory documents needed for the state to swiftly adopt these important pollution standards. The rulemaking is less complicated than many. First, federal law allows only two options for vehicle pollution standards – the default federal rules, or the more stringent Advanced Clean Cars standards. If New Mexico opts in, it will join Colorado, Nevada, and 15 other states that have adopted or are in the process of adopting largely identical rules. Second, New Mexico already had these standards on the books under the Richardson Administration until they were rolled back under Governor Martinez, so the state already has experience with the program. The petitioners are optimistic that the rules can be adopted by the end of this year and begin to deliver results within the next two years.

Joint petitioners: Center for Civic Policy, Conservation Voters New Mesico (CVNM), NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), Plug In America, Prosperity Works, Sierra Club, SWEEP, 350 New Mexico

“Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation are the number one contributor to global warming and our climate emergency. Additionally, those emissions have a huge impact on public health. Moving swiftly and boldly with full adoption of Advanced Clean Cars Standards is essential to the broad and rapid adoption of zero emissions vehicles” – Ona Porter, Prosperity Works

“New Mexico is currently faced with an opportunity to once again take bold action on climate change. As our communities brace themselves yet again for another wildfire season and a worsening and extended drought, we must keep moving forward with bold solutions that put the wellbeing of everyday New Mexicans first. As our energy sector accelerates their decarbonization, our society must also move forward with clean energy and low to zero emission vehicles. This is why we urge New Mexico to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars Standards. Because we must ensure our state continues to lead in our transition away from fossil fuels and towards a cleaner, healthier future.” – Oriana Sandoval, Center for Civic Policy

“Advanced Clean Cars Standards will be good for our wallets as well as the climate. Deploying EVs at a scale consistent with climate action will save New Mexicans more than $20 billion on fuel and maintenance through mid-century, because electricity is cheaper than gasoline and EVs are far more efficient than conventional combustion cars. We urge New Mexico to adopt Advanced Clean Cars Standards to help New Mexicans across the state gain access to these benefits.” – Tammy Fiebelkorn, SWEEP

“As we enter our third consecutive choking wildfire season, in the midst of extreme drought, we must act urgently to halt climate change. By implementing the strongest possible clean car standards, we can address a leading cause of global warming: the vehicle emissions from burning gas and diesel fuel. We have no time to wait, and our children will not forgive us if we fail this test.” – Tom Solomon & Jim Mackenzie, 350 New Mexico

“Clean car standards are critical to reaching the governor’s goal of a 45% reduction in GHGs by 2030. They’ll also create healthier air to breathe and save New Mexicans money. We cannot wait to get cleaner cars in the fast lane in New Mexico, which is why we’re bringing this petition forward.” – Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter

“EVs can help New Mexico reduce its GHG emissions and improve air quality. States adopting these standards have led the way in EV adoption, and consumers in such states generally have a broader range of EVs to choose from. We urge New Mexico to adopt Advanced Clean Cars Standards.” – Joel Levin, Plug In America

“Vehicle emissions are more than 25% of all GHG emissions in the country. Joining with other states to enact leading clean car standards will help tackle the climate crisis, clear the air that our residents breathe, and create jobs building a clean car infrastructure in the state.” – Demis Foster, CVNM

“Pollution from cars and trucks harms the health of everyday New Mexicans and is now impacting New Mexico’s climate and way of life. This petition will enable New Mexico to green light the adoption of clean car standards that have already been adopted by fourteen states.” – Noah Long, NRDC


The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a non-profit organization that advances more efficient energy use and clean transportation solutions in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.