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  • Carmakers Urged to Support Clean Air Act

Carmakers Urged to Support Clean Air Act

Feb 28 2020 Read 353 Times

A newly published consumer report is urging car manufacturers to support the Clean Air Act and withdraw support for the Trump administration, which is attempting to overturn the 1963 federal act introduced to curb air pollution. At the time it was considered one of the most instrumental modern environmental laws in history, setting a global benchmark for emissions and air pollution targets.

Consumer Reports warns over increased cost of ownership, increased pollution

The call was issued by American non-profit organisation Consumer Reports, an advocate for investigative journalism, customer-based research and non-bias product reviews. Several auto giants were named, including Toyota, Nissan, General Motors, Fiat and Chrysler. The organisation sent letters to all companies, as well as Kia, Subaru, Hyundai, Mazda and Mitsubishi. The letters warn that a retraction of the federal law would increase the cost of owning a new vehicle by more than US$3000 by 2025. Consumer Reports also highlights the environmental dangers of failing to address the global air pollution and climate change crisis.

"If these companies are committed to a zero-emission future, they should support rules that have been proven to encourage technological innovation,” asserts Shannon Baker-Branstetter, manager of cars and energy policy at Consumer Reports. “The current rules and state authority help protect consumers and reduce pollution. Undoing the standards would threaten this progress and the future fuel savings for drivers."

California Clean Air Act waiver under threat

Not only is the Trump administration attempting to freeze the Clean Air Act, but the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation is also threatening to retract California's waiver to set its own greenhouse gas emissions limits on new vehicles, which was granted in 1970.

From 2021 to 2026, BMW, Ford, Volkswagen and Honda have pledged to meet California Air Resources Board standards requiring manufacturers to improve the average fuel economy of new vehicles by 3.7% each year. While this marks an important step forward for tackling air pollution, the Trump administration is attempting to freeze federal fuel economy standards and cap reductions at around 37 miles per gallon. Last year, several keynote car manufacturers came forward to support the freeze, calling for a uniform set of national fuel economy and emissions rules.

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