Trump makes U-turn on clean cars

The transportation sector consumes about 70 percent of the oil used in the United States. Passenger cars and light trucks make up the bulk (more than 60 percent) of this energy demand and the carbon pollution that goes along with it. Yet President Trump has signed an executive order that slams the brakes on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s clean car vehicle emissions standards (for model years 2022 to 2025). Those cleaner car standards, set in 2012, would save more than 2 million barrels of oil per day by 2025—that’s the pollution-saving equivalent of taking 53 million cars off the road for a year. The standards would reduce climate pollution by 5 billion tons, all while saving consumers more than $1 trillion at the pump (or between $3,200 and $5,700 over the life of a new car). Despite polls showing that 84 percent of Americans want automakers to continue to improve fuel economy for all types of vehicles and more than 400,000 public comments are supportive of the clean car standards, the Trump administration is pandering to automakers by moving to roll them back.

If the rollback succeeds, thousands of manufacturing jobs could be lost. In Michigan alone, more than 200 facilities and nearly 70,000 workers that are building clean vehicle components would be at risk. The EPA now has until April 2018 to decide whether to keep the standards in place or to weaken them. Trump always boasts about how he wants to “Make America Great Again”—but how is having more pollution, higher fuel costs, and greater dependence on dirty oil great for Americans? This blatant handout will line the pockets of automakers at the expense of our pocketbooks, public health, and the planet.

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