WASHINGTON, DC | August 5, 2021
In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposal to tighten greenhouse gas standards for passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks for model years 2023-2026, replacing the Trump-era Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule, the American Lung Association’s President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:
“EPA’s proposal today is a necessary step toward addressing the previous administration’s rollbacks of cleaner cars standards, but it’s only a start. To drive the transition to zero-emission vehicles the nation needs, EPA must also set much stronger standards covering cars, SUVs and light trucks through at least 2030.
“Gasoline and diesel-powered cars, SUVs and pickup trucks pollute the air we breathe and drive climate change. The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. From degraded air quality due to higher temperatures to increased risk from wildfires and other extreme weather events, climate change poses serious threats to the health and lives of all Americans, especially children, older adults, low-income communities, communities of color and people living with chronic diseases.
“The coast-to-coast adverse impact of western wildfires on air quality is the latest example of the health effects of climate change. Climate change is a health emergency and the Biden Administration must use all available tools to promote carbon pollution reductions.
“A nationwide transition to zero-emission vehicles is not only crucial for addressing the climate crisis, it will also reduce dangerous air pollution, especially for communities that live near major roads. This transition would provide $72 billion in health benefits and $113 in climate benefits annually by 2050, according to the Lung Association’s ‘Road to Clean Air’ report.
“Further, there is broad support for the transition to electric vehicles. Last month, the American Lung Association released a poll showing that 70% of American voters support the federal government advancing policies to encourage a nationwide transition to electric vehicles.
“The American Lung Association calls on the administration to quickly finalize today’s proposal and move forward with strong, ambitious greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for cars, light trucks and SUVs into the future that accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles.”
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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