Strong Fuel Economy Standards Key to Fighting Climate Change and Protecting Public Health
(July 18, 2016) - SACRAMENTO
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Today’s release of a widely-watched national fuel efficiency report underscores the importance of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards to ensure the health of all Californians now and for generations to come.
The Draft Technical Assessment Report, released by the U.S. EPA along with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), assesses the progress of fuel-efficiency standards, established in 2011, and set to be implemented in the next decade. Those standards would require 54.5 miles per gallon (MPG) fuel economy and steep reductions in tailpipe carbon pollution levels by 2025.
"We want to see the strongest possible emissions and technology standards," said Olivia Diaz-Lapham, President and CEO of the American Lung Association in California. "Better fuel efficiency is one of the best tools we have to accelerate national efforts to fight climate change and strengthen California’s efforts to achieve its own air quality and climate goals. The U.S. EPA and NHTSA should not back down in the face of industry pressure and continue to protect the public from harmful vehicle pollution and improve vehicle fuel efficiency."
Motor vehicles are a major source of pollution that threatens our climate and the health of millions. Increased greenhouse gases drive climate change which leads to poor air quality, increased heat-related illnesses and death and more extreme, deadly weather events. These impacts hit our most vulnerable citizens hardest including low-income communities, children, seniors and those already living with respiratory illness.
An increase in fuel efficiency will cut oil consumption dramatically. By 2030, its anticipated Americans will use 2.4 million fewer barrels per day. This will directly cut fossil fuel pollution and reduce related lung health emergencies.
"National fuel economy standards work and we need to make sure they keep working, not only for consumers, but also for our health," said Dr. Afif El-Hasan, a Board Member for the American Lung Association in California. "Lower gas consumption means less pollution and fewer health impacts linked to climate change. A strong federal rule on fuel efficiency standards and greenhouse gas reductions will promote healthier lungs and fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits for respiratory and cardiac illnesses, As the review moves forward, the Lung Association will call on federal agencies to focus on the health benefits of the cleanest, most efficient vehicle technologies, including zero-emission vehicle technologies."
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, , or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit the newly redesigned website:www.lung.org/california.