Lynn Scarlett, Co-Chief External Affairs Officers for The Nature Conservancy
Lynn Scarlett Lynn Scarlett the Conservancy's Global Managing Director of Public Policy. © Cade Martin


Statement from The Nature Conservancy Regarding Rollback of Auto Emission Standards, Fuel Efficiency Standards, and the California Waiver

The Nature Conservancy opposes the Trump Administration’s proposal to cap federal fuel economy standards at the 2020 level and revoke the state of California’s waiver that allows the state to regulate carbon pollution from tailpipes. These proposed new regulations effectively ignore the needs of our economy and communities, the continued challenges of air pollution, and the growing impacts of climate change. 

“Tailpipe emission standards, including the California waiver, have for nearly half a century been one of the most successful means to improve the quality of the air we breathe,” says Lynn Scarlett, Co-Head of External Affairs at The Nature Conservancy. “Emission and fuel economy standards, by continuing to ask manufacturers do better, encourage automakers to keep innovating and make vehicles run cleaner and go farther on less fuel. While less efficient vehicles might be cheaper to produce, the increased fuel costs quickly outpace those savings, ultimately reaching a total of up to $475 billion by 2050, according to estimates from Energy Innovation.”

“California has been fighting dirty air since before there was a Clean Air Act. We made smog as famous as the Hollywood sign,” says Mike Sweeney, Evecutive Director for The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter. “Our leaders made sure that when the Clean Air Act was passed it didn’t make Californians settle for lower air quality standards than the ones we used to beat back smog. That’s what the waiver is all about. Today, our air pollution problems are even more important to tackle because of their impact on climate. California is acutely feeling the effects of climate change contributing to megafires burning across our state, and more extreme weather swinging from extended droughts to destructive floods, and dangerous heat waves. The least the federal government can do is stay out of our way while we rise to this challenge.”

“The Nature Conservancy has long supported durable federal action to improve air quality and address the threat that a changing climate poses to our economy, our communities, and our natural systems.  That includes robust standards that address pollution from cars and trucks, which currently are significant contributors to the carbon pollution that causes global warming. We urge the Administration not to undermine one of the most effective tools for driving innovation and addressing the pollution problems caused by tailpipe exhaust,” says Scarlett. 


The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.