Seattle -- Today, the Trump administration announced new vehicle emission guidelines which roll back the existing Clean Car Standards. This regressive move will get rid of our nation’s best climate change mitigation program, which is cutting future carbon emissions more effectively than any other current federal policy. Preliminary calculations indicate this move could increase global warming emissions by 2.2. billion metric tons. This action betrays the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)’s stated mission of protecting human health and the environment. Trump officials are also considering rejecting a waiver that has allowed California and 12 other states, including Washington, to adopt standards that are more protective of health and the environment.
Environment Washington Director Bruce Speight released the following statement:
“How can we justify rolling back the most effective tool we have to take on global warming?
“This latest move by the Trump administration means that our cars will continue to pump billions of metric tons of carbon pollution into the atmosphere, further destabilizing the climate and bringing increasingly severe impacts of global warming. At our current atmospheric level of 408+ parts per million (ppm) of carbon pollution, humanity is facing conditions that have not been seen on our planet for more than 400,000 years, at least 100,000 years before the first Homo sapien walked the earth.
“Ironically, the same administration that wants to roll back our clean car rules has officially acknowledged that we have a problem. Last November, the Trump administration released a Climate Science Special Report as part of the latest National Climate Assessment. In the report, the nation’s top scientists confirmed that global warming is caused by humans burning fossil fuels. Given that transportation emissions are now the number one source of global warming pollution, the administration would be wise to change course.
“Adopting this irresponsible proposal would exacerbate the global warming that now turbocharges weather systems ranging from always-dangerous tropical cyclones to once-benign rainstorms. Increasingly high-powered storms are leaving a trail of tragedy, from the massive hurricanes that struck Houston and Puerto Rico last fall, to the flooding of Ellicott City, Maryland in May. Polls show that 50 percent of Americans believe that global warming will harm them personally, and 75 percent think it will harm future generations. Extreme weather, wildfires, tick-borne diseases and other worsening climate-related scourges are already impacting American families, homes and businesses.
“We need national leaders who understand that a stable climate is a crucial foundation for a strong country and healthy Americans. If we roll back clean car standards, we’ll shirk our responsibility to preserve our quality of life for future generations. We need to protest this short-sighted move vigorously, reverse course immediately, and once again become a world leader on global warming solutions.”
Environment Washington is a statewide, membership-based environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water and open spaces.