April 10, 2018

Van Hollen, Democratic Senators Introduce Legislation to Put the Brakes on Trump Admin. Efforts to Roll Back Fuel Economy Emissions Standards

Strong standards projected to save consumers more than $1 trillion and nearly 2.5 million barrels of oil a day by 2030, reduce global warming pollution by six billion metric tons

Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) today introduced the Greener Air Standards Mean Our National Security, Environment, and Youth (GAS MONEY) Saved Act, legislation that would block Trump administration efforts to roll back the historic 54.5 fuel economy emissions standards. The legislation reaffirms the Final Determination made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2017 that stated that the 2012 fuel economy emissions standards are appropriate. The GAS MONEY Saved Act also would block EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt from issuing rules to weaken the emissions standards for vehicles through 2025.

“By reversing the current emissions standards, the Trump Administration is taking money out of the pockets of American consumers and putting it into the coffers of the Koch Brothers and oil companies,” said Senator Van Hollen. “These standards help American families save at the pump, protect our environment from further damage, and strengthen our national security through energy independence. In the last decade, we’ve made progress in addressing climate change -- rolling back these standards jeopardizes that progress. I urge the Senate to take up this legislation immediately.”

“Strong fuel economy emissions standards save consumers money at the pump, protect our national security by reducing our reliance on foreign oil, and foster innovation and American competitiveness,” said Senator Markey. “Fuel economy emissions standards are the single greatest action ever taken by any nation to fight climate change. What Scott Pruitt is doing on these standards is a fuel economy disaster. We must block any attempt by the Trump Administration and Scott Pruitt to rescind California’s waiver or attack the authority 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 put the brakes on any attempt to gut these standards and keep us on course to reap their benefits.”

“Fuel efficiency saves drivers money, lessens our reliance on foreign oil, and cuts carbon pollution,” said Senator Whitehouse. “The auto industry agreed, adding that strong standards help them plan and invest wisely.  They gave their word. Automakers have the technology to meet the standards, and nothing has changed but fossil fuel stooge Scott Pruitt at EPA wanting to please his fossil fuel industry patrons.  That shouldn’t cause U.S. automakers to break their word.”

“Administrator Pruitt's decision to roll back fuel efficiency standards is a step in the wrong direction,” said Senator Bennet. “The fuel economy emissions standards were on track to save American families thousands of dollars at the pump, support the creation of more than 100,000 American jobs, and boost manufacturing—all of this while also driving American innovation and protecting our environment. Businesses in Colorado understand that these standards make sense. That’s why I have yet to hear from a company asking to roll them back. We should maintain these standards and, with them, America’s competitive edge.” 

“In 2012, the U.S. set historic fuel economy standards for the cars on our roads—and they’ve already cut greenhouse gas emissions while saving Minnesota drivers more than half a billion dollars,” said Senator Smith. “Scott Pruitt is considering a plan to abandon these milestones, and it must be stopped. Not only is his proposal a consequential attack on our climate, U.S. jobs, and national security, it’s a clear sign that Mr. Pruitt is unabashedly favoring big corporate interests over what’s best for our country. Our legislation would stop this rollback in its tracks and make sure that the nation’s fuel economy standards continue to support families, jobs, innovation, and the environment.”


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


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 a 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.