EPA Move to Weaken Clean Car Standards is Irresponsible and Unwarranted

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency is moving to weaken landmark clean car standards designed to slash carbon pollution and save drivers $92 billion at the pump.

The decision brings the Trump administration one step closer to dismantling these standards, even though an exhaustive, multi-year review concluded in January 2017 that the standards are working and that automakers can meet them, or even stronger ones, with existing technologies at a reasonable cost.

The following is a statement by Luke Tonachel, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Clean Vehicles and Fuels Project:

“The Trump administration’s decision will take America backward by jeopardizing successful safeguards that are working to clean our air, save drivers money at the pump, and drive technological innovation that creates jobs.

“The American public overwhelmingly supports strong vehicle standards because they cut the cost of driving, reduce air pollution, and combat climate change. Backing off now is irresponsible and unwarranted.”

EPA and the Department of Transportation set joint guidelines for vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy beginning with model year 2012. Since then, drivers have saved $49 billion on gas and new cars are emitting 230 million fewer metric tons of carbon – equivalent to the annual emissions spewed by 56 dirty, coal-fired power plants.

More than 288,000 manufacturing workers in 48 states now build the cutting-edge technologies that make vehicles cleaner and more fuel efficient because the standards reward innovation and give manufacturers the certainty to invest in building the cars of the future.

The standards now under threat cover cars and light trucks made from 2022 to 2025.

Click here for a blog by Luke Tonachel that details NRDC’s opposition to weakening the clean car standards.

For a blog by senior scientist Simon Mui on how the standards benefit the economy and create jobs, click here.

For more background, see this blog by Luke Tonachel.


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​



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