In response to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt's announcement to start a joint rule-making process with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to revise the 2022-2025 vehicle emissions requirements, and to reexamine California's waiver to set more protective clean car standards, American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer issued the following statement:
"The American Lung Association strongly opposes EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to revise the clean car standards. Last year, after substantial review and public comment, EPA concluded correctly that the 2022-2025 vehicle emissions requirements were appropriate and that auto manufacturers can comply with these standards. We see no valid reason to change that decision now.
"Transportation is the nation's single largest contributor of carbon pollution, which drives climate change. Starting a process to weaken clean car standards marks yet another step backward from the fight to curb climate change. Climate change poses serious threats to millions of people, especially to some of the most vulnerable Americans, including children, older adults and those living with chronic diseases such as asthma.
"A recent American Lung Association poll showed that nearly seven in 10 voters want EPA to leave current fuel efficiency standards in place.
"Weakening federal protections from vehicle pollution threatens public health, but today's announcement goes even further toward gutting air pollution safeguards. By threatening California's historic authority to set more protective clean car standards, EPA is undermining one of the most effective tools the nation has had to fight air pollution and climate change. This action hampers not only California's right to protect the health of its citizens, but that of a dozen other states that have driven nationwide progress in reducing tailpipe pollution.
"We support the efforts of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, which are all moving forward with strong clean car standards. We urge all states to join them.
"The Lung Association will fully participate in the rulemaking process and will urge the Environmental Protection Agency not to weaken fair and safe vehicle pollution limits that are designed to protect the health of every American, especially children, older adults and those living with a lung disease, who are most at risk to the health impacts of unhealthy air."
About the American Lung Association
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.