Casten Introduces Legislation to Reduce Vehicle Emissions

August 4, 2020
Press Release

Downers Grove, IL – U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) introduced the Efficient Vehicle Leadership Act, legislation that would combat the climate crisis by reducing transportation emissions, and save Americans' money by creating a financial incentive for consumers to purchase more fuel efficient vehicles. In 2018 the transportation sector was the largest single source of emissions in the United States, responsible for 1.9 billion tons of CO2 equivalent entering into the atmosphere. Casten, a member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, recently joined his colleagues in introducing the Committee’s staff report, which highlights the need to reduce pollution from passenger vehicles by deploying cleaner cars.

Casten said, “Passing legislation to begin decarbonizing the transportation sector could and should have happened years ago – but the next best time is now. Fuel efficient vehicles are better for the environment, and cost consumers less at the pump – a true win-win. Reducing vehicle emissions is essential to combating climate change – one of the greatest threats to our lifetime – that is why this legislation is so important. I will continue to work with my colleagues to introduce and pass legislation to protect our environment.”

The Efficient Vehicle Leadership Act creates a financial incentive for consumers to purchase more fuel efficient vehicles. Any vehicle less efficient than the standards for that year incurs a tax, while consumers purchasing a more efficient vehicle receive a refundable tax credit, which they can opt to take as a discount on the vehicle’s price. The bill is modeled off the ‘Feebates’ proposal, which was a bipartisan measure proposed in the Senate during the Obama administration.

The Efficient Vehicle Leadership Act increases consumer savings on two fronts. First, it makes fuel efficient vehicles cheaper – the more fuel efficient a car, the larger the tax credit, which can be transferred to the dealer in exchange for an equal discount on the vehicle. Secondly, by giving consumers access to more efficient vehicles, it generates savings as consumers pay less for fuel. Consumers pay less to buy their vehicles, and need to take them to the pump less frequently, generating savings on both ends.