As Americans Celebrate 5 Years of Cleaner Cars, Trump Administration and Congress Attack Program

Media Contacts

Environment America


Happy 5th birthday, Clean Car Standards! People across the United States are celebrating less air pollution and more oil staying in the ground as the Clean Car Standards turn 5 years old this week. These standards aren’t just good for the environment, they’re good for the economy as well: Americans have saved nearly $50 billion at the pump since automakers, federal and state governments and other stakeholders agreed upon the rules on October 15, 2012.

“It’s not every five year-old who can cut pollution and save oil! These Clean Car Standards are working, across the country we have already seen consumer savings at the pump all while reducing dangerous emissions,” said Anna Aurilio, Washington DC office director at Environment America.

But with the Trump administration and some in Congress working to undermine these standards, it’s unclear if they’ll make it to year 6. This summer,  President Trump reopened the EPA’s midterm evaluation on the Clean Car Standards, a process that opens the door for the administration to weaken the standards. Today Representatives Upton and Dingell introduced a bill, similar to one introduced in the Senate by Senator Blunt, which would undermine existing standards, increasing oil consumption and global warming pollution  If passed this bill would result in approximately 350 million barrels of additional oil being burned, 155 million metric tons of global warming emissions, and an additional $34 billion in fuel costs for Americans.

“With massive hurricanes and wildfires devastating our country, this is the exact moment when we should be ratcheting down global warming pollution from cars, not rolling back existing standards,” said Aurilio.

In response, thousands of Americans submitted comments last week opposing any efforts to gut our best climate program. Cars, buses, trucks and other transportation modes are America’s top sources of climate pollution, and the forward-thinking Clean Car Standards, when fully phased in, will cut carbon pollution nationwide by 6 billion metric tons.

“Our daily commutes are cooking the planet, but they don’t have to.  We have the technology and skilled workforce to build cleaner cars and the tools to give Americans cleaner choices for getting from point A to point B,” said Aurilio.

A recent report released by Environment America Research & Policy Center, Renewables on the Rise: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future highlighted the extensive growth in clean vehicle technologies over the past decade. In the first five months of 2017 alone, electric vehicle sales were up an additional 44 percent compared to 2016.  Environment America also released “Happy Birthday Clean Cars,” a 2-minute video celebrating the standards.

“On their 5th birthday, the Clean Car Standards are under attack. We’re calling on Congress to reject any attacks on these standards to  make sure we’ll be celebrating less pollution and cleaner cars for years to come,” said Aurilio.