Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) released the following statement today in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issuing their final rule establishing unlawfully weak fuel economy standards and rolling back tailpipe emissions standards, otherwise known as clean car standards:
“Rolling back critical public health protections in the midst of a pandemic is as irresponsible as it is callous. While the nation is rightfully focused on fighting the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump Administration is deliberately pushing through a series of environmental rollbacks that will affect our country for generations to come. The clean car standards the Trump Administration is revoking today were put in place not only to combat climate change and protect consumers, but also to protect Americans from the health impacts of worsening air quality. Millions of Americans with asthma, COPD and other respiratory conditions count on these measures to protect their long-term health. Rolling them back now — when these very people are considered a high-risk group for coronavirus complications — proves beyond doubt that we simply cannot trust this Administration to do what is right.
“There is a reason only oil companies support today’s action, and it’s because they are the only ones that stand to benefit. This rollback is terrible for our health and environment, punishes consumers at the pump, and harms workers in the vehicle manufacturing industry as weak standards will drive innovation and manufacturing overseas. Americans deserve better, and we will continue to work hard to ensure they get it.”
In August 2018, the Trump Administration announced it was abandoning long-term fuel economy and carbon pollution standards for passenger cars and light trucks, and EPA’s own experts panned the decision. Shortly after the automobile manufacturing industry requested that the Administration reconsider the rollback, warning that the Trump Administration’s proposal would result in “untenable” market instability, jeopardize American leadership in manufacturing and innovation, and worsen environmental conditions. Committee leaders held a joint hearing on the rollback in July of last year.
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