Dave Cooke

Senior vehicles analyst

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Dave Cooke is a senior vehicles analyst in the Clean Vehicles Program, specializing in both light- and heavy-duty fuel economy. He conducts research on fuel efficiency technologies and the implications for oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across the transportation sector. See Dave's full bio.

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View from upper level of Ford display 2018 North American International Auto Show

Rolling Back the Rollbacks: Putting Cars and Trucks Back on Track to Meeting Climate Goals

To get serious on global warming emissions from passenger vehicles, the Biden administration’s first step should be immediately reinstating the 2012 standards rolled back by the Trump administration. The benefits of reinstating those 2012 standards as quickly as possible are not limited to global warming emissions. While the previous administration’s own analysis noted the hazard of its own weak standards, our updated modeling efforts show just how much more beneficial an immediate reversal of that policy would be for society. Reducing oil use means improved health outcomes and more money in the pockets of consumers, but this also translates into more jobs and helps to accelerate the transition to electrification needed to meet climate goals, including the 2030 targets under the Paris agreement. Read more >

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Under Biden Administration, a New Decade Has Dawned—Passenger Car Regulations Must Keep Up

With a new administration taking office and a new decade upon us, it’s a perfect opportunity to recommit to holding the automobile industry accountable under the Clean Air Act. While manufacturers continue to be in compliance with fuel economy and emissions regulations, improvements are stalling, and a continued shift away from cars to SUVs and light trucks shows the country progressing far too slowly to avert the worst impacts of climate change. With a new presidential administration set to take over, it’s time to put the previous administration’s rollback in the rear-view and the pedal to the metal, pushing industry onto a more sustainable path. Read more >

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GM’s Environmental About-Face – Political Expedience or Real Leadership?

Last week, General Motors announced it’s ending its part in the lawsuit supporting the Trump administration’s illegal elimination of California’s ability to set global warming emissions standards for passenger cars and trucks. While the news is a welcome action and something UCS and others have been pressuring GM to do, done in the wake of the election of a new president, it screams of political expediency, not environmental leadership.

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Thomas Hawk/Flickr
Steve Fecht, GM
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One in 10 diesel pick-ups has been illegally modified to increase pollution, creating emissions in excess of 10 times that of the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal. Shutterstock

The RPM Act – How a Multi-billion Dollar Industry is Trying to Ruin Our Air

With “defeat devices” once again in the news, thanks to yet another manufacturer failing to comply with the Clean Air Act, now seems as good a time as any to remind folks how the automotive industry is actively working to undermine the protections of the Clean Air Act and increase the use of defeat devices in passenger cars and trucks. In this case, aftermarket parts manufacturers and dealers, under their trade association, are fighting for passage of the Recognizing Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act, a bill which would cripple EPA’s ability to go after people who tamper with automotive emissions controls and one UCS has been tracking for more than three years. Since the industry continues to push this bill in session after session of Congress, let’s break down what the RPM Act does, why it keeps coming back, and why this zombie bill should be taken out and never be heard from again.

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Screenshot retrieved 9/17/20
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California Moves Forward to Address Pollution from Heavy-Duty Trucks

The San Joaquin Valley and Southern California continue to have the worst air quality in country, in terms of both smog and particulate pollution (soot). Next Thursday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will vote a proposal to reduce smog-forming and soot emissions from heavy-duty vehicles sold in the state over the next decade. This latest proposal is a critical part of cleaning up the trucking sector until that broader transformation takes place. Read more >

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