WASHINGTON -- The Energy & Commerce Committee, as well as the Consumer Protection & Commerce and Environment & Climate Change Subcommittees held a joint hearing today to examine the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back the Clean Car Standards, and oil companies’ potential involvement.
The Clean Car Standards were set to double fuel economy, and would have cut global warming pollution in half for cars sold in 2025. The administration is incorrectly claiming that stronger fuel economy standards make our roads less safe. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s own estimates, their rollback would increase petroleum consumption by 500,000 barrels per day, exacerbating the effects of global warming.
Alongside their rollback of America’s most effective carbon emissions reduction program, the Trump administration is also challenging states’ authority under the Clean Air Act to adopt stronger tailpipe pollution standards. For more than 50 years, states have set stronger limits on tailpipe pollution when federal standards fail to protect their citizens. After hearing from EPA air chief Bill Wehrum and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator Heidi King, Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), emphasized that gutting this authority under the Clean Air Act will harm our health and worsen the climate crisis.
Morgan Folger, Clean Cars campaign director at Environment America, released the following statement:
“Flatlining the best climate program we have on the books is like driving in reverse, and takes American the wrong way on clean cars. The Trump administration’s rollback of Clean Car Standards will increase air pollution in our communities, force drivers to spend more at the pump, and worsen the climate crisis.
“For decades, California has been a leader when it comes to making our cars more efficient and environmentally friendly. This essential effort has resulted in cleaner air across the nation. On behalf of our members in all 50 states, we thank Mary Nichols and the California Air Resources Board for standing up for the ability of states across the country to set strong limits on pollution from cars and trucks.
“It is unconscionable for the Trump administration to get in the way of our progress. They should be strengthening the Clean Car Standards, not threatening our right to clean air and a stable climate.”
Environment America staff and volunteers protesting the EPA's Clean Cars rollback in April, 2018. Photo credit: TJ O'Neill, TJO Photography