With the help of our supporters, the Union of Concerned Scientists has long led the fight to break our dangerous oil dependence and address global warming by strengthening fuel efficiency and pollution standards for cars and trucks. We stand on the verge of historic progress with the Obama administration's recently proposed fuel efficiency and global warming emissions standards for vehicles sold between 2017 and 2025. These standards would save consumers billions of dollars at the gas pump, prevent millions of tons of global warming emissions, and save as much oil in 2030 alone as we currently import from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Automakers have the technology to make all new cars, trucks, and SUVs cleaner. But just as opportunity knocks, automakers and their allies are working behind the scenes to weaken the standards with loopholes that could increase pollution and oil dependence.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) are currently accepting public comments on the proposed standards, and they need to hear from citizens like you, not just industry lobbyists.
Tell the Obama administration to move forward with strong clean car standards and oppose harmful industry-backed loopholes.
Please make your letter personal by adding in your own thoughts and concerns. Every letter makes a difference, but customized letters have the greatest effect!
- EPA Administrator Jackson and DOT Secretary LaHood
The proposed standards are achievable and reasonable and will save me money at the pump, curb millions of tons of harmful global warming emissions, and save as much oil in 2030 alone as we currently import from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. They will also drive innovation in the U.S. auto industry, creating new jobs across the country.
Though I strongly support these standards, I am concerned about possible loopholes that automakers could exploit. Specifically:
* The proposal largely ignores the pollution released from power plants when electric cars are recharged. The Environmental Protection Agency should require automakers to fully account for their vehicles' pollution--whether from petroleum or power plants.
* The proposed standards for light trucks are significantly weaker than for cars. In the past, automakers made vehicles bigger to qualify for weaker standards. Light truck standards should be strengthened to prevent automakers from gaming the system.
* The agencies are proposing a 'mid-term' review that would begin soon after the standards come into effect. In the past, automakers have abused similar programs--turning them into off-ramps as opposed to reviews. It is critical that this review does not undermine the program through 2025.
We cannot afford to delay in confronting the threats of climate change and our dangerous oil dependence. I urge you to move forward with the strongest possible standards free of harmful loopholes.
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