EDF Testifies for Strong Clean Car Standards at Trump Administration Hearing in Fresno

Large Crowd Rebukes Administration for Attempt to Rollback Money-Saving Clean Air Protections

September 24, 2018
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Fresno, CA – September 24, 2018) EDF joined a large crowd of Americans at a hearing in Fresno today to tell the Trump administration not to undermine America’s Clean Car Standards – protections that reduce climate pollution, spur fuel efficiency gains, and save families money at the gas pump.

The Clean Car Standards are already in effect delivering crucial health and economic benefits to all Americans, but last month the Trump administration proposed rolling them back – an extreme step  that doesn’t even have support from major automakers like Ford and Honda.

The administration held the first of three planned hearings on the proposed rollback in Fresno today. EDF Senior Attorney Martha Roberts joined the many others testifying in favor of the Clean Car Standards.

“We’ve already seen that Clean Car Standards mean American families are able to buy a wide range of cars and trucks that pollute less and cost families less money at the gas pump — at the same time the auto industry has thrived,” said Roberts in her testimony. “This proposal to eviscerate a tremendously successful program is contrary to law, facts, and the best interests of all stakeholders. It should be immediately withdrawn.”

Sean Donahue, an attorney who has represented EDF in a wide range of lawsuits, also testified today.

“Despite years of continuous progress in cutting pollution and improving fuel economy; despite engineers’ proven ingenuity in making cars cleaner and cheaper to operate; despite years of strong auto sales under tighter pollution standards, and in the face of our gravest environmental threat, the agencies propose to flatline greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for six years. Nothing remotely like this is necessary,” said Donahue in his testimony. “Anyone who thinks climate change is real and that our path forward lies in respect for science and innovation should repudiate this embarrassing and retrograde proposal.”

The Trump administration’s widely criticized proposal to roll back the Clean Car Standards is based on controversial scientific and economic data. Experts have debunked administration claims that the rollback would make cars safer, and an analysis by MJ Bradley and Associates found the average family will spend $200 more every year if we rollback the standards –  and could spend as much as $500 more every year if gas prices continue to rise.

In her testimony, Roberts pointed out that the administration’s own analysis found the proposed rollback will cost 60,000 American jobs.

The proposed rollback also relies on attacking the right of California and other states to protect millions of people against harmful pollution – an action that is contrary to the long history and well-established authority for states to play a leading role in addressing car and truck pollution.

The administration will hold two more hearing on the proposed rollback – tomorrow in Dearborn, Michigan and Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Americans can also weigh in during the public comment period.

You can read Roberts’ full testimony here and Donahue’s full testimony here, and read more about the Clean Car Standards on EDF’s website.

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