Opinion

Guest Column: The Clean Car Standards and Trump


President Donald Trump and the Environmental Protection Agency are attempting to undo the work of thousands of Oregonians and dozens of organizations that successfully demanded Clean Car Standards in Oregon in 2006.

Oregon Environmental Council

These standards cut climate and air pollution and save consumers at the pump. These rollbacks take the country backwards at the exact time other nations are accelerating clean technology innovations.
The Trump administration has steadfastly ignored states, tribes, business and labor voices that want the Clean Car Standards to remain in place. Administrator Wheeler plainly stated they don’t intend to negotiate with states before finalizing their unwanted and dangerous rollback. At risk are requirements for cleaner technology that prevents air pollution and improves fuel economy as well as California’s ability to set stronger standards that other states can opt-in to. By refusing to acknowledge the authority of states granted by the Clean Air Act to adopt stronger limits on pollution from cars, President Trump is betraying the health and financial well-being of more than 118 million Americans living in clean car states – in favor of big oil and D.C. industry lobbyists.
The fourteen states plus D.C. are not the only states that will be impacted if these rights are revoked. The administration is effectively trying to strip all states of their authority under the Clean Air Act to control vehicle pollution within their own borders, now or in the future.
“These protections were so sensible and so cost-effective that in 2009 the federal government adopted them nationwide,” OEC Deputy Director Chris Hagerbaumer wrote in 2017. “Because of proactive states like Oregon, our cars are cheaper to drive, our air is cleaner, and our tailpipes are emitting fewer greenhouse gases.”
The nation’s clean car standards and complementary fuel-economy standards have led to important technological innovations. These regulations have made them more competitive, contrary to opponents claims many years ago.
“Today, we’re nearly three years into the Trump administration, and we can only hope the slow gears of federal bureaucracy and legislation will work in our favor as the clock runs out on this anti-environment administration
“Oregon has had to repeatedly defend itself against federal rollbacks to air, land, and water protections, and now three years later, we remain committed as ever to continue,” said Jana Gastellum, Climate Program Director. “Without federal leadership on our environmental priorities, it’s important for Oregonians to hold the federal government accountable while continuing to call on their state lawmakers and demand bold climate action.”



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