EPA heads in the wrong direction on clean car standards

Media Contacts

Environment Oregon

This week, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to announce a move to significantly weaken America’s clean car standards. Environment Oregon State Director, Celeste Meiffren-Swango, issued the following statement in response:

“Rolling back America’s clean car standards is a massive blow to public health and the environment. It is the wrong direction for the nation — Americans deserve less pollution, not more.  The EPA should be acting to protect public health and the environment. 

If fully phased in, the clean car standards would save 6 billion metric tons of carbon pollution and 12 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of model year 2012-2025 vehicles.

113 million residents of the fifteen clean car states, including Oregon, are protected from this reckless rollback, thanks to their state’s leadership and commitment to strong clean car standards. But millions of Americans in neighboring states are not. They will be saddled with less-efficient vehicles and harmed by the associated health consequences. And because pollution doesn’t respect state borders, Oregonians’ health will be impacted as well.

In January 2017, the EPA concluded that America’s clean car standards were working and achievable, and should not be weakened. But now, without any change in the facts, the current Administration is reversing that decision, ignoring thousands of pages of technical analysis that support keeping the standards in place.

No one wants more pollution and dirtier air, but that’s exactly what we’ll get if the Administration succeeds in rolling back our clean car standards. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans want current fuel efficiency standards to remain in place, and we’ve seen tens of thousands of citizens and hundreds of health experts voice their support for cleaner cars.

Earlier this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed lowering penalties for companies that fail to meet current standards. Now, not only is the administration trying to make it cheaper for polluters to violate the standards, but they are also weakening the standards themselves.

It’s past time to clean up our transportation sector, the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution. We need to move forward to clean up our cars, not pull a U-turn on the progress we are set to achieve.”