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article imageOp-Ed: Trump administration announces roll-back of vehicle standards

By Karen Graham     Aug 3, 2018 in Politics
The EPA is starting to roll back one of the most important policies for limiting climate change we have. The agency is also picking a fight with states that want tougher car emission rules, setting itself up for a knock-down, drag-out legal fight.
The proposal, released Thursday morning by the EPA and the US Department of Transportation, would ramp up fuel efficiency standards for car and light-duty trucks until 2021, and then freeze them.
Included in the proposal is a section that would revoke California's waiver allowing the state to set its own emission standards, which are actually stronger than the federal government's rules.
Interestingly, there are 13 other states and the District of Columbia that also follow California's stricter emission rules, according to VOX.
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Governor Jerry Brown
The rollback of this country's most important tool for fighting climate change will undo years of government efforts to reduce the number of Americans' trips to the gas station and cut unhealthy, climate-changing tailpipe emissions.
And if this proposal does become final, the result, opponents say, will be dirtier air and more pollution-related illness and death. On top of this, the proposal itself says the rollback will also cost the motor vehicle companies tens of thousands of auto workers who deal with making vehicles more fuel efficient their jobs.
The figure was like 60,000 jobs being lost by 2030, but a Transportation Department spokesperson called the estimate of job losses "rough approximations." Rough or not, 60,000 jobs being cut is a whole hell of a lot.
"Pollution is cutting short the lives of millions of people every year " said the world&ap...
"Pollution is cutting short the lives of millions of people every year," said the world's highest-level decision-making forum on environmental issues
DOMINIQUE FAGET, AFP/File
However, Chet France, an EPA senior executive until his retirement in 2012, called the administration's contention that the mileage freeze would cause only a tiny increase in climate-changing exhaust emissions "bogus."
According to CTV News Canada, California and 16 other states have already filed suit to block any change in the fuel efficiency rules. "The EPA has handed decision making over to the fossil fuel lobbyists ... the flat-Earthers, the climate change deniers," said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
It may be difficult to wrap your mind around the administration's reasons for rolling back fuel efficiency standards. Perhaps one reason would mean that American's would use more gasoline, and of course, that would be great for the petroleum companies.
However, the government says this rollback of what is basically one of our clean air standards will make vehicles more affordable for Americans because we won't have to pay extra for all those silly parts of the vehicle that helps to keep our air cleaner.
Air pollution remains the leading cause of premature death in Europe
Air pollution remains the leading cause of premature death in Europe
Thomas SAMSON, AFP/File
I really don't know about the younger generation in this country, but at 73 years of age, this writer remembers very well what it was like having to breathe in the exhaust from cars and trucks on the streets. I mean, is this what we really want to go back to?
Two former EPA mileage officials said the administration's proposal departed from years of findings on fuel efficiency, car safety, exhaust emissions, and costs, reports the Weather Channel.
"They don't offer any meaningful example of what has changed so dramatically" to warrant the reversal, said Jeff Alson, who until this spring was a senior engineer in the EPA's transportation and air quality office. "In my opinion the only way they got there was, they knew what kind of results they were told to get and they cooked the books to get that result."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Epa, car milage standards, Emissions, Climate change, dirtier air
 
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