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Aminah Zaghab,
Environment America

Clean Car Standards should be Strengthened, Not Reopened

For Immediate Release

The Trump administration reopened the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s midterm evaluation on clean car standards. The process withdraws the previously released final determination on EPA’s vehicle emission standards for 2022-2025 and expands the time period under consideration to 2021-2025. In response Environment America’s global warming solutions advocate, Aminah Zaghab issued the following statement:

“With 2016 now the hottest year on record, we need to double down on cutting global warming pollution, not reopen effective lifesaving standards that are already protecting our health and the planet.  When fully phased in, the existing standards are set to save 6 billion metric tons of dangerous global warming pollution; cut our oil use by 12 billion barrels; and save Americans $67 billion to $122 billion over the lifetime of the vehicles. And moreover they are the biggest single federal step we now have to avert the worst impacts of climate change and accelerate our transition off of fossil fuels.

“Today, the administration reopened EPA’s midterm evaluation, which previous EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy concluded in January of this year. The previous midterm evaluation concluded the standards were appropriate and there was evidence the standards should be strengthened.

“We are concerned that the only reason to reopen this process is to weaken the standards. We know that President Trump said he would eliminate regulations as he stood alongside automakers in Michigan, who have been lobbying to weaken the standards.

“The technical assessment report released last year by EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the California Air Resources Board, after extensive scientific and stakeholder input, showed automakers are meeting the standards faster and more affordably than anticipated and consumers are reaping the benefits. Falling costs, new technologies and trends in the marketplace mean automakers can and should go even further to reduce air pollution, oil use and fuel costs. And in 2015, 10 percent of all vehicles sold could meet 2020 or later standards. Furthermore, the “new” midterm evaluation process goes beyond the original time period for consideration, putting another year of important regulations on the chopping block at the cost of our health, our environment, and consumers.

“Reversing progress on clean car standards will cost lives. Rolling back fuel efficiency and clean car standards will only increase pollution and trigger negative public health impacts like asthma attacks and heart attacks. Reversing standards to clean up cars can worsen asthma symptoms for the 24 million Americans – including 6.3 million children – who suffer from asthma. Tailpipe pollution causes 53,000 early deaths a year and millions of illnesses. In fact clean cars standards have helped cut pollution from cars and trucks by about 90 percent since 1998.

“These common-sense standards are doing exactly what they were designed to do. They’re protecting our health and climate from dangerous pollution, saving billions of gallons of fuel, and saving Americans money.  We hope today’s action by the administration considered the science and importance of these standards, and doesn’t serve as a roadmap to rolling back progress.”