Rollback Opposition and Fuel Economy in Todays Administration
President Donald Trump’s proposed rollback of Obama-era fuel economy and emissions standards for passenger cars and other motorized methods of transportation will force people to breathe dirtier air and dramatically increase greenhouse gas emissions, a pair of state attorneys’ general (hereon referred to as AG) said Wednesday.
“Any American who drives or breathes should oppose the administration’s actions,” Illinois AG Lisa Madigan said on a conference call while answering various questions proposed by reporters and constituents.
Rolling back auto efficiency and emissions standards will also incrementally increase the amount of money that drivers can expect to pay at the gas station, Madigan said. The Trump administration’s proposed rule will take money “out of the pockets of general commuters and give it to Big Oil,” she emphasized. Big Oil itself has seen some conflict recently as New York takes action to sue Exxon over its fabrication of false data in regards to climate change’s current standing and possible future effects.
After releasing the plan in September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the public exactly 60 days to comment on the suggested ruling. The Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicle rule or, “SAFE” rule would freeze fuel efficiency standards for cars, trucks, and SUVs at the 2020 level and going forward through to 2026.
The gathered AG’s argued that capping the progress made in fuel efficiency standards wouldn’t give the automotive industry any reason to support the regulation rollback, as vehicles have effectively increased their efficiency many times since the implementation of the regulation since 2012.
While these rollbacks seem inevitable, despite growing concern and opposition, there are currently 19 states that intend to submit comments against the suggested rule. While these comments may not make any change themselves, they do establish a paper trail contesting any claims that the rule is widely accepted. The current standing administration believes that individuals who do not make the move to purchase newer vehicles for any reason are actually a hazard on the road as they are not using new, safer vehicles.
These rollbacks would allow a for a deregulation of emissions, which when it comes to climate change, we have very little wiggle room. Expectations of a 1.5° Celsius increase is considered catastrophic in terms of meteorological changes and shifts in tide height and water level. All of which are a significant worry for any individuals residing in a coastal zone. As humans who have been given stewardship of a planet, it is our duty to take action and call for changes in policy that will not leave our homes as a withering husk of what it used to be.