Cleaner, more efficient cars are a no-brainer. It’s a win-win for your pocketbook, the environment and fuel supplies. The U.S. set light-duty vehicle standards in 2012 that will nearly double the efficiency of new cars and light trucks by 2025. An overwhelming majority of Americans, along with car manufacturers, support these standards, which encourage innovation and efficiency. No other federal policy is delivering greater oil savings, consumer benefits, and global warming emissions reductions than these standards. To date, Virginia drivers have saved $870 million at the pump due to strong fuel economy and global warming emissions standards.
The Trump administration is trying to slam the brakes on these vehicle fuel economy and carbon pollution standards, which would result in more air pollution, higher gas costs and a loss of jobs. These standards protect from dangerous air pollution, which is especially important given that Richmond has some of the highest rates of childhood asthma.
More tailpipe pollution would place this vulnerable population at increased risk. And that’s simply unacceptable. By 2030, Virginia would produce 13,700 new jobs. Money saved on gas is pumped back into the local economy, driving growth and putting people to work. The average household in Virginia will reap this benefit as long as policymakers don’t weaken these protections.
If this bill succeeds, the Trump administration would essentially be imposing a new tax on drivers, forcing us to spend more of our hard-earned paychecks at the gas pump and drive less efficient, dirtier vehicles. These savings are especially important to Americans who are working hard to make ends meet. Lower and middle income households ($30,000 or less) spend up to 10 percent of their income on gasoline.
And when the price of gas spikes, that figure multiplies. Sen. Warner should tell the president to lead the way to protect consumer savings and developing cleaner, more efficient cars instead of trying to slam the brakes on progress.