April 04, 2019

Harris, Feinstein Reintroduce Legislation to Block Efforts to Roll Back Fuel Economy Emissions Standards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) on Wednesday reintroduced the Greener Air Standards Mean Our National Security, Environment, and Youth (GAS MONEY) Saved Act, legislation that would block efforts at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) to roll back strong fuel economy emissions standards. This legislation highlights the benefits of the existing fuel economy and vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards and the dangerous impacts of the proposed rule released by the EPA and NHTSA last August. The GAS MONEY Saved Act would reinstate the 2012 fuel economy and vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards rule—which was reaffirmed by an extensive technical assessment report in 2016—and prevent EPA Administrator Wheeler from weakening the standards. This proposed rule is being challenged by a coalition of 20 attorneys general and has been questioned by several major auto companies.

“Every American deserves clean air and clean water, yet this administration has taken drastic steps to undermine the clean car standards put in place to protect public health and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Senator Harris. “We must preserve these important standards and recommit ourselves to securing the environment for future generations.”

“Reducing harmful car emissions is key to combating climate change. Congress enacted our bipartisan Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act to boost fuel efficiency standards, which is now on track to exceed 50 mpg by 2025. The new standards are working, thanks to a joint effort between the federal government, California and like-minded states, and the auto industry. Cars are becoming more fuel efficient, families are saving money at the pump and auto manufacturers are meeting the stronger standards at lower costs than expected – there is no reason to change them now,” said Senator Feinstein.

“Consumers, our national security, and the environment all benefit from the strong fuel economy emissions standards the Trump administration wants to repeal,” said Senator Markey. “Instead of fostering the kind of innovation and American competitiveness that come with more efficient cars, the EPA and NHTSA are doing the bidding of Big Oil and putting us in reverse. Fuel economy emissions standards are the single greatest action ever taken by any nation to fight climate change. At a time when we still import more than 2.5 million barrels of oil a day from OPEC, Congress should block any attempt by the Trump administration to make a U-turn on these standards and the ability that California and other states like Massachusetts have under the Clean Air Act to put strong standards in place. The GAS MONEY Saved Act will save American families money at the pump, combat the climate crisis, protect auto industry jobs, and help end our reliance on foreign oil.”

The fuel economy emissions standards are projected to save nearly 2.5 million barrels of oil a day by 2030, around as much oil as we currently import from OPEC countries every day, save consumers over $1 trillion, and reduce global warming pollution by six billion metric tons. Since reaching an historic agreement with the Obama administration and state leaders, the auto industry has gone from the brink of economic disaster to record auto sales in 2015 and 2016, including adding 700,000 U.S. jobs.

Other Senators co-sponsoring the legislation include Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jack Reed (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

A copy of the GAS MONEY Saved Act can be found HERE.

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