Michigan Celebrates 5 Years of Cleaner Cars, Trump Administration Attacks Program

Environment Michigan Research & Policy Center

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLEAN CARS” Video Available at https://www.facebook.com/EnvironmentAmerica/videos/10159450618115188/

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: Michigan has saved 1.1 billion dollars 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, and here in Michigan we have already seen billions in consumer savings all while reducing dangerous emissions,” said Callie Rouse, Campaign Organizer with Environment Michigan.

But with the Trump administration 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 to benefit automakers while harming our health and costing hardworking families money.

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. Here in Michigan, transportation makes up 29% of global warming emissions. Locally, these standards will eliminate global warming emissions equivalent to twice those from providing electricity to Grand Rapids.

“Weakening these standards is not only harmful to the environment, but also a disservice to the workers and engineers both at car companies and suppliers who are dedicated to designing and building ever-cleaner cars,” Research Professor John DeCicco of the University of Michigan Energy Institute said.

A recent report released by Environment Michigan 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 Michigan also released “Happy Birthday Clean Cars,” a 2-minute video celebrating the standards and highlighting the importance of defending them. The Clean Car Standards are working, but now the Trump administration is trying to dismantle these important standards that have cut pollution and saved consumers money.

There are great health repercussions as well.

“Michigan ranks as one of the worst states in the nation in terms of diseases linked to air pollution, such as heart disease, stroke, and chronic respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD,” Critical Care RN and Coalition Coordinator at MI Air MI Health Kindra Weid said. “And now, emerging research has linked long-term exposure to air pollution to developmental and cognitive disorders as well.”

Nationally, the existing standards are set to save 6 billion metric tons of dangerous global warming pollution when fully phased in.

The standards are also projected save a lot of fuel and money — nationally, they’re set to cut our oil use by 12 billion barrels and save Americans $67 billion to $122 billion by 2025. And that’s worth celebrating.

“On their 5th birthday, the Clean Car Standards are under attack. We’re calling on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to make sure we’ll be celebrating less pollution and cleaner cars for years to come,” Rouse said.