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Con Edison Defends Strong State Auto Emission Standards

Con Edison and a coalition of other major power companies have filed a petition to challenge the Trump Administration’s climate policies for the second time in three months.

The filing contests the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s rule eliminating California, New York, and other states’ stricter greenhouse gas and zero-emission vehicle standards.

Con Edison believes that the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Rule Part One: One National Program (SAFE Rule) will undermine efforts to achieve significant and cost-effective reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions for New Yorkers. Transportation accounts for 37 percent of CO2 emissions in the United States with passenger cars responsible for the largest source of them at 41 percent.

Con Edison promotes the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) by offering customers programs such as: the Electric Vehicle Marketplace to help drivers choose the right EV; SmartCharge NY incenting off-peak charging; Fast Charging incenting EV fast charger installation; and a Business Incentive Rate for businesses that install EV charging stations for public use.

Beyond the passenger EV market, Con Edison is participating in a cutting-edge demonstration project exploring the commercial and technical feasibility of supporting emission-free electric school buses with vehicle-to-grid technology. The buses transport children to school, and when not in use, their batteries can support the grid.

The SAFE Rule withdraws a waiver granted by the federal government enabling California and other states to set higher vehicle emission standards than federal standards. New York and 12 other states’ automobile emission standards are linked to California’s. This rule hamstrings Con Edison’s efforts to advance the electrification of transportation to reduce greenhouse gases.

Prohibiting the stronger California standards will increase CO2 and criteria pollutant emissions from the transportation sector, making it more difficult to achieve New York’s regional greenhouse gas reduction goals and attain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The coalition filing this petition includes Calpine Corp., Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, National Grid USA, New York Power Authority and Seattle City Light. These companies are leaders in clean energy generation and support the electrification of the transportation sector as a critical strategy to reduce emissions and combat climate change.

In September the Power Companies Climate Coalition filed a petition in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge EPA’s rollback of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

Changes to these regulations put Con Edison’s efforts to make meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at risk. These efforts include:

  • Significant investments in renewable energy; the promotion of utility-owned renewable generation
  • Offshore wind initiatives
  • Clean heating alternatives
  • Innovative battery storage and energy efficiency programs
  • Renewable gas
  • Natural gas efficiency programs and methane emission reductions
  • Customer-friendly policies for residential solar generation

For additional information about Con Edison’s multi-pronged approach to mitigate, the impacts of climate change visit us at 

Consolidated Edison, Inc. is one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy-delivery companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $56 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through the following subsidiaries: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., a regulated utility providing electric, gas and steam service in New York City and Westchester County, New York; Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., a regulated utility serving customers in a 1,300-square-mile-area in southeastern New York State and northern New Jersey; Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, Inc., which through its subsidiaries develops, owns and operates renewable and energy infrastructure projects and provides energy-related products and services to wholesale and retail customers; and Con Edison Transmission, Inc., which through its subsidiaries invests in electric and natural gas transmission projects.