We Won't Let Trump Pump the Brakes on Climate Progress

From day 1, Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt have been colluding with corporate polluters to undo bedrock environmental safeguards that keep our air and water clean and curb dangerous climate emissions.

On Tuesday, Scott Pruitt gave corporate polluters a big win by gutting the Clean Power Plan. As the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants, the Clean Power Plan protects the health of families and communities by curbing dangerous carbon pollution and reducing other toxic pollutants like mercury, smog, and sulfur dioxide

Gutting the Clean Power Plan isn’t the only polluter backed rollback in Pruitt’s Dirty Power Plan, he’s also working with auto executives to roll back vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards, also known as the cleaner car standards. Transportation is the single largest and fastest growing source of emissions in the U.S. Our cars and trucks account for 45 percent of oil used in the United States and nearly a third of our greenhouse gas emissions.

But for now, cleaner car standards are helping us drive away dangerous carbon pollution. October 15th marks the fifth anniversary of America’s clean cars standards. While automakers stood by President Obama as he announced the standards 5 years ago, they’re now trying to roll back our single biggest defense against carbon pollution. Without the Clean Power Plan, these standards are the U.S.’s largest-ever effort to reduce climate pollution.

As soon as Trump took office, automakers started going back on their word, calling on Trump and Pruitt to put the cleaner car standards in reverse. Earlier this year, Pruitt held a series of closed-door meetings with auto industry executives and lobbyists. A few months later, he announced that EPA would re-open and expand the scope of a review of the clean cars standards, with the likely intention of rolling them back. Duplicating the midterm review of carbon pollution standards is a waste of taxpayer money and a blatant attempt by the administration to rig the system for corporate polluters at the expense of hard-working American families.

By 2025, vehicle efficiency and clean car standards are expected to: nearly double vehicle efficiency; save 6 billion metric tons of dangerous climate pollution; save America 12 billion barrels of oil; save individual consumers $1,460 to $1,620 in fuel costs by the time the standards are fully implemented; and save Americans $67 billion to $122 billion over the lifetime of vehicles when the standards are fully implemented. But weakening standards to cut tailpipe carbon pollution will further contribute to climate change, which can worsen asthma symptoms for the 24 million Americans – including 6.3 million children – who suffer from asthma.

Rolling back the standards might be what the auto industry lobbyists in Washington want, but it would be a catastrophe for American families – pumping more carbon pollution into our air while forcing families to spend more of their hard-earned money on gas. Rolling back the standards now could pump a year's worth of climate pollution from 150 coal fired power plants into our communities. The tragic impacts of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have further underscored the need for immediate action that will prevent climate change from getting even worse. Reversing or indefinitely delaying policies that cut carbon pollution would leave our communities more vulnerable to supercharged storms,flooding, drought, wildfires, and other deadly disasters and the health risks associated with them.

On the 5th anniversary of the Clean Car Standards, we won’t let Trump and his cabinet of toxic polluters pump the brakes on climate progress.

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