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Dr. Robert Little’s Statement on Rolling Back Clean Car Standards

Capitol Press Conference
July 25th, 2018

President Trump, acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and acting NHTSA Administrator Heidi King are poised to throw America’s clean car standards in reverse and revoke states’ longstanding legal authority to put into place stronger fuel efficiency standards that limit tailpipe pollution when the federal standards fail to adequately protect their citizens.

Rolling back the clean car standards will make our air more polluted, putting lives at risk, and force consumers to spend billions more dollars on gas for dirtier, less-efficient cars. This authority was established in the 1970s and was championed by then-governor of California Ronald Reagan. At present, 13 states, including Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia—representing 113 million people and over a third of the automotive market—have exercised their right to establish strong tailpipe pollution standards to protect their citizens and environment. Now, the Trump administration wants to dismantle that authority.

  • Pennsylvanians deserve clean air. Rolling back fuel efficiency standards will allow automakers to make dirtier cars that pollute the air and harm our health.
  • Over 1 million children and adults in Pennsylvania suffer from asthma. And our most vulnerable citizens, our children, suffer the most from air pollution because their lungs are still growing and they are so active.
  • Nationwide 25 million Americans—including more than 6 million children—suffer from asthma. We shouldn’t be rolling back safeguards that protect them.
  • Motor vehicles emit harmful carbon particles as well as dangerous gasses such as Nitrogen oxides and Sulfur dioxide and plenty of carbon dioxide that causes global warming.
  • The administration’s attack on states’ authority to protect their citizens from harmful tailpipe pollution is an unprecedented violation of public health, air quality and common sense.
  • Rolling back clean car standards will hurt all Americans, but the administration’s roll back of states’ authority is an all-out assault on the 113 million people living in states like Pennsylvania where policymakers have opted to safeguard the health of their communities.
  • States must be allowed to manage vehicle pollution within their borders, as the Clean Air Act intended. For more than 50 years, U.S. states have had the explicit right to protect their residents’ health by reducing tailpipe pollution. By attacking states’ authority under the law, Trump and his allies are gutting the Clean Air Act.”