Fuel standards

To the Editor:

Gas prices are shooting back up just in time for the summer driving season. Instead of working to reduce pollution, save us money and make cars safer, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the Trump administration are moving forward with their plan to roll back clean car standards.

With the support of the auto industry, they were finalized in 2012 to require vehicles to hit fuel efficiency standards to help Americans deal with high gas prices and to make cars safer to drive. But Pruitt and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acting leader Heidi King are rolling back those standards.

Memorial Day kicked off the peak travel season for many people, and gas prices are expected to hit the highest they’ve been in four years. Pruitt is continuing to put the interests of polluters ahead of our health, safety and hard-earned paychecks.

An analysis from the Consumer Federation of America found that as the average fuel economy for new vehicles increased from 21.8 mpg in 2011 to 25.1 mpg in 2018, vehicles became more popular and safer. The fuel efficient technologies, spurred by clean car standards, have saved drivers more than $50 billion at the pump.

When Pruitt was attorney general of Oklahoma, he took $4.2 million from fossil fuel interests and now he’s paying back his energy cronies by making Americans pay more.

Additionally, transparency continues to be a problem at the EPA. At a recent summit on dangerous chemicals, select new outlets were invited by “invitation only” despite it being listed as a public event on the federal daybook of events. Only after public outcry and physical altercation by EPA security was this event truly opened to the public and all news outlets.

Reversing clean air standards will worsen climate change by pumping more dangerous carbon pollution into the air and by making us more dependent on oil. What else is the EPA doing behind closed doors? It is time for us to boot Pruitt and have an EPA administrator who will actually protect our health and environment.

Craig Roebuck, Otter Creek

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