December 05, 2017

Van Hollen Urges EPA to Protect Strong Fuel Economy Standards

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), in calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to not weaken light-duty vehicle emissions standards for model 2022 through 2025 and strenuously object to revisiting emissions standards for model year 2021, which were never supposed to be part of the EPA's midterm evaluation. Since reaching an 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. The average fuel efficiency of vehicles has already gone up five miles per gallon, saving drivers nearly $35 billion. The EPA has found that the net benefits of the fuel economy standards are nearly $100 billion and would reduce oil consumption by 1.2 billion barrels.

"We urge you not to weaken these vehicle emissions standards, and allow the auto industry to ensure its continued success and further its innovation while maintaining a standard that brings clear public health, climate, and consumer benefits," write the Senators in their letter to the EPA. "As you move to reevaluate the sound technical conclusions your agency reached last year in the mid-term evaluation, we expect you will consider the facts, the science, and the law, which all lead to the single conclusion that the standards are achievable."

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

Other Senators signing the letter include Al Franken (D-Minn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash,), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).