Environment Ohio Celebrates 5 Years of Cleaner Cars, Trump Administration Attacks Program

Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center

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: Ohio has saved $1.2 billion 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 Ohio we have already seen $1.2 billion in consumer savings all while reducing dangerous emissions,” said Nathaniel Ropski, campaign organizer with Environment Ohio.

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 mid-term 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 Ohio, transportation makes up 26% of global warming emissions. Locally, these standards will eliminate global warming emissions nearly equivalent to those from providing electricity to Columbus.

“These standards are proving critical to maintaining our technological and market momentum,” said Ellen Eilers, Outreach Manager for Clean Fuels Ohio. “Pulling the plug on them would slow this momentum, harming consumers, American workers and America’s place in the automotive industry. We need to maintain the standards, and with them the market momentum and technology innovation that will help provide good jobs, clean air and a sustainable environment.”

A recent report released by Environment Ohio 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.

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

“These common-sense standards are doing exactly what they intended – protecting our health and climate from dangerous pollution, saving billions of gallons of fuel, and saving money for families of Ohio and this nation,” said Jeffrey Lehman, an electric vehicle owner in Columbus.

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,” said Ropski.