Malloy blasts Trump over fuel standards
HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is blasting President Donald Trump for a decision to role back federal greenhouse gas protections and fuel economy standards for cars and trucks.
“As we have seen too often from the Trump administration, the EPA’s announcement again abdicates its leadership role on climate, energy and the environment,” Malloy said, referring to a new federal Environmental Protection Agency rule.
“States have long led the way on many important issues, including climate change,” Malloy said. “President Trump is once again putting the interests of big business ahead of the health and economic interests of the American people. This shortsighted decision will lead to decreasing fuel efficiency, which means more frequent stops at the gas station and higher gas bills for Connecticut drivers.”
The Trump administration is rolling back a 2012 agreement that harmonized state and federal tailpipe emission standards for greenhouse gases with federal fuel efficiency standards. That agreement set future fuel efficiency standards at more than 50 mpg for cars manufactured between 2022-2025, with a review mandated this year.
“There is no more beautiful sight than an American made car,” Trump said in announcing reversal of the Obama-era standards. “We are going to work on the standards so you can make cars in America again.”
Robert Klee, commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said the state will continue to be a leader in setting its own emission standards.
“While this administration may actively try to prevent states from exerting their sovereign rights to fill the void created by federal inaction, we will continue to do our part as a national leader to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, and look forward to a time when our federal government again allows science and not the demands of the auto industry to drive the important goals and objectives of the advanced clean cars program,” Klee said.
“We will continue to work with like-minded states to safeguard the protections provided by the federal Clean Air Act and the Advanced Clean Car program,” Klee said.
Claire Coleman, a climate attorney for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, said the Trump administration decision goes against expert opinion.
“In his zeal to roll back Clean Car standards, “[EPA Administrator] Scott Pruitt has yet again defied his agency’s own experts,” Coleman said. “Pruitt is pandering to auto executives and their Washington lobbyists, who want to see the standards unraveled so they can dump dirtier, less efficient vehicles on American drivers. The Clean Car standards are already working here in Connecticut and across the nation, saving consumers money at the gas pump and saving lives by cleaning up the air we breathe.”
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said the roll back endangers public health.
“These roll-backs from Scott Pruitt mean Americans will pay more at the pump while our air gets dirtier, just so Pruitt can help the corporate lobbyists and polluters who give him favors and marching orders,” Brune said.
“Pruitt cannot deny the fact that these widely-supported clean car standards will drive down pollution and cut costs for Americans at the pump, which is why he’s taken the facts about the standards off EPA’s website,” Brune said.
Anne Hulick, state director for Clean Water Action, also said the move will hurt public health.
“As a nurse, I am deeply disturbed to learn of the rollbacks to vehicle emission standards,” Hulick said. “In addition to being a large source of greenhouse gas emissions that contributes to climate change, emissions from cars and trucks are a leading cause of respiratory ailments including exacerbations of asthma and chronic pulmonary conditions.”