Action Alert: The Trump Administration seeks to weaken emission standards for cars and trucks. This would be a major setback for U.S. — and world — efforts to reduce global warming.
Issue: On August 10, 2017 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department announced that they are reconsidering emissions standards for cars and light trucks made between 2021 and 2025. You can read the announcement here.
Action: A 45-day public comment period on the reconsideration of the standards opened on Aug. 21. Comments will be accepted until Oct. 5, 2017.
To comment electronically follow this link.
Or go to regulations.gov. Type in the “docket ID,” which is “epa-hq-oar-2015-0827”
Click on the highlighted “Comment Box,” leave a comment and then follow the prompts
Vehicle tailpipe pollution is a major cause of global warming, which is already causing high temperatures, rising sea levels and severe flooding and droughts. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Collectively, cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all US emissions, emitting around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases for every gallon of gas. About five pounds comes from the extraction, production, and delivery of the fuel, while the great bulk of heat-trapping emissions—more than 19 pounds per gallon—comes right out of a car’s tailpipe.”
Shannon Baker-Branstetter, an official at Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, noted that the EPA under the Obama Administration earlier this year concluded a thorough assessment of the proposed emission regulations and “found the targets through 2025 could be met at an even lower cost than EPA had previously estimated.” In addition, auto industry experts warn that a slowdown in America’s shift toward efficient cars could severely hurt its car sales in the global market.
In 2012, the U.S. EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is part of the Transportation Department, adopted rules requiring the nation’s cars and light trucks to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, forcing the auto industry to speed the development of fuel-efficient vehicles, including hybrid and electric cars. The industry, however, has opposed the standards, saying they are too expensive and presented a difficult technical challenge. Low gas prices and slow sales of alternative fuel vehicles have made it harder for auto companies to meet the goals. The industry sought relief from the Trump Administration, which ordered the current review and comment period.
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