The public comment period on a proposed rollback of our Clean Car Standards is entering its final month, and the message coming out of hearings from coast to coast this week was unequivocal -- Americans love clean cars. Environment America and its state affiliates joined citizens, health professionals and elected officials in California, Michigan and Pennsylvania to push back against the Trump administration’s proposal.
“Rolling back the Clean Car Standards would bring all the progress we’ve made to a screeching halt,” said Andrea McGimsey, Environment America global warming solutions senior director. “Overwhelmingly, Americans voiced support this week for healthier air to breathe and a safer planet for the future. The administration should listen and change course.”
If fully implemented, this regressive move would eliminate the program designed to cutting future carbon emissions more effectively than any other federal policy. If maintained, the existing standards would double fuel economy and cut global warming pollution in half for cars sold in 2025. The transportation sector is now the country’s largest source of climate-altering carbon pollution.
“I strongly oppose the rollback of fuel economy standards...” said former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, in testimony submitted by Environment Michigan at the Dearborn hearing on Monday. “Rolling back the standards and doing away with one national program is the Trump Administration snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”
“This summer, Pennsylvania endured record-breaking heat waves, devastating downpours and flash flooding, and booming tick populations, all of which will only get worse as we continue to pump global warming pollution into our air,” added Flora Cardoni, the director of PennEnvironment’s climate defender campaign, who testified at the Pittsburgh hearing on Wednesday. “Pennsylvanians deserve less pollution, not more. These standards are instrumental in ensuring a safe planet and protecting human health.”
High schooler Abigail Segel attended the Pittsburgh hearing as well, and provided a youthful perspective.
“In my decade and a half living in America, I have inhaled the equivalent of about 5,500 cigarettes, when in reality I’ve never touched one. I’m only a teenager and that is an outrageous number. The Environmental Protection Agency should be doing everything it can to improve air quality for my generation and for future generations, instead of making it worse,” Segel said.
Several Pennsylvania state senators chimed in too.
“Our changing climate is leading to extreme weather such as heat waves and downpours, along with wildfires and flooding. Halting the clean-car standards will mean more air pollution for the state’s residents and more extreme weather and weather-related costs for everyone,” wrote state Sens. Wayne Fontana, James Brewster, Stewart Greenleaf, Andrew Dinniman, and Daylin Leach.
The deadline to submit public comments on Trump administration’s proposal is October 26.
PennEnvironment’s Flora Cardoni testifies at the hearing in Pittsburgh.