Environmentalists, Lawmakers Say No To EPA Rollback Of Clean Car Standards

Jul 2, 2018

A former Environmental Protection Agency employee, two Indiana lawmakers, and environmentalists opposed the EPA’s plans to change clean car standards at a press conference Monday. The standards require new cars and light trucks build after 2025 to get about 50 miles to the gallon.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced in April that the agency would consider undoing the Obama-era standards. Opponents say the move would lead to more pollution, higher gas prices, and damage Indiana’s auto industry. 

“Not only are we going to see a spike in gas prices, but we’re also going to see more pollution in communities of color,” says state Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis).

Indiana University law professor Janet McCabe worked for the EPA during its 2016 review of automakers’ compliance with the clean car standards. She says not even car manufacturers — who have made money on more efficient vehicles — want this rollback.

“That’s one of the biggest bites we can take out of pollution that’s affecting our climate and our health, and now is not the time to dial back. The existing standards are achievable and working,” says McCabe.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, transportation is the largest single source of air pollution in the United States. McCabe says the EPA is expected to come out with a proposal to roll back clean car standards any day now.

The speakers at Monday's press conference were Cheryl Laux of Central Indiana Moral Mondays, Sen. Taylor, state Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis), Indiana Asthma CoalitionDirector Roni Ford, Indiana NAACP Environmental Justice Chair Denise Abdul Rahman, and Janet McCabe, ELPC Senior Fellow and former acting-assistant administrator of the U.S. EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation under President Barack Obama.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.