AG Shapiro, PennEnvironment, Mayor Kenney, Congressmen Evans and Boyle speak out against Trump Rollback of Auto Pollution Standards
[Philadelphia, PA] – PennEnvironment and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro were joined by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Congressmen Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle, and State Rep. Steve McCarter today at City Hall to voice their opposition to the Trump administration’s effort to dismantle critical federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. At the same time, the Trump administration is also proposing to usurp states’ ability to set stricter state-level emissions standards.
These standards are currently the nation’s most far-reaching and successful policies for addressing global warming pollution. Put into effect in 2012, the federal fuel efficiency standards would nearly double the fuel economy of new cars and light trucks by 2025, in turn reducing oil consumption and pollution, and saving consumers millions of dollars at the gas pump.
“Undoing the existing protections that protect those most vulnerable to the effects of air pollution is unacceptable,” said David Masur, Executive Director for PennEnvironment.
“If anything, we need stronger climate and health protections in place to reduce the threat posed by air pollution.”
“Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean air and pure water,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “The Trump Administration’s EPA is actively undermining the progress we’ve made in Pennsylvania. I strongly oppose the EPA’s plan to rollback clean car standards, and I’ve joined with 18 other states’ Attorneys General to fight against it.
“The Trump Administration’s intention to roll back Clean Car standards is another disastrous move that not only hurts our efforts in fighting climate change, but will cause car owners to spend more at the gas pump, and will harm the health of Philadelphians, particularly those that are most vulnerable,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “The air pollution from cars is a major contributor to Philadelphia’s biggest killers – heart and lung disease. Our federal government should be protecting public health instead of bending over backwards to please oil companies and auto executives.”
Transportation is a major contributor to smog and is now the nation’s top source of climate pollution. Recent studies show that almost 1 in 3 days in the Philadelphia area are “bad air” days with dangerous levels of air pollution. These conditions result in increased asthma attacks, cardiac problems, and other health issues for children, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations with respiratory ailments.
“Climate is not a red or blue issue, it is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It's an issue of our future. It's an issue for our children. It’s an issue for our grandchildren as well,” said State Representative Steve McCarter.
“President Trump’s proposal to roll back the Obama clean car standards is just the latest in a long line of unprecedented environmental assaults by his administration. We don’t have to accept his false choice between protecting the environment and advancing our global leadership and economic strength”, said Philadelphia Congressman Brendan Boyle. “Climate change and the human role are undeniable. Failing to address these threats hurts us today, and tomorrow. I implore the President to re-think his priorities on the environment, and allow our auto industry to innovate to the benefit of our health, safety, and global competitiveness.”
Beyond protecting public health and the environment, the current fuel efficiency standards also benefit consumers, businesses, and the economy. For example, Pennsylvanians have already saved over $1.2 billion at the gas pump from these fuel efficiency standards, and the average Pennsylvania household will save $1,650 by 2030.
“Let’s be clear that public health is threatened, climate change hastened, and our overall economy is put at risk when technology and science are ignored to lower vehicle standards,” noted Philadelphia Congressman Dwight Evans.
“We will not stand for the abuse of our environment and will continue to fight these rollbacks in Pennsylvania,” said State Senator Vincent Hughes. “The federal government should be a leader on environmental protection and safety, but instead it is caving to short-term interests of a president looking to undo solid regulation. That’s shameful.”
"Unfortunately, with billions in gasoline at stake, the EPA's decision is a budget busting action that Pennsylvania consumers and small businesses shouldn't have to pay,” noted Adam Garber, Consumer Watchdog for the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group (PennPIRG). “Putting development of efficient cars in reverse will mean that summer road trip, the daily commute to the office, or the trip for a business meeting will cost more money for many Pennsylvanians."
“These stricter fuel-efficient car standards are good for Pennsylvania’s environment and good for our economy as well,” added Attorney General Shapiro.
PennEnvironment and the elected officials agreed to continue working together to defend the nation’s existing fuel efficiency standards from rollbacks and attacks in Washington DC.
PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water, and protecting our natural heritage. To learn more, visit www.PennEnvironmentcenter.org