The City Council of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency, laying out a series of carbon-reduction measures to take effect between now and 2030.
With an 11-0 vote on Monday, the city signaled its intent to shift away from fossil fuels and embrace clean, renewable energy with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by the end of the next decade, MLive.com reports. The city will solicit program ideas at a carbon-neutral summit to be held Nov. 13.
Hundreds of cities have done such a thing, so why would we single out Ann Arbor? It's the longtime home of the EPA's emissions testing lab, which itself has been threatened by the administration's plans to curtail emissions regulations, in particular a 2017 budget proposal that would have slashed 99% of the testing center's funding.
While the EPA is ultimately responsible for determining testing procedures for fuel economy and emissions, most testing is actually performed by manufacturers. The EPA reserves the right to validate OEM testing, which has resulted in some vehicles' certifications being questioned, revised or revoked.
EPA video promoting window sticker
This issue came to a head during the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal, which first broke back in 2015. In the wake of those revelations, the EPA vowed to certify every diesel-powered vehicle in-house, rather than relying on manufacturer testing.
The vote was held just hours after President Trump formally announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, in what the administration sees as one of the early steps in stripping the U.S. auto industry of regulatory red tape.
The administration has doubled down on its campaign promises to roll back environmental regulation, from stalling emissions and fuel efficiency standards to relaxing rules for ethanol fuel additives.
Trump has also taken aim at California's authority to set its own fuel efficiency standards—standards which have also adopted to some degree by Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state and Washington D.C.