PNS Daily Newscast - May 28, 2020 

A grim milestone as U.S. COVID-19 deaths top 100,000. Housing advocates fear folks who lost their jobs could lose their homes.

2020Talks - May 27, 2020 

Republican governors in Georgia and Florida offer their states as alternatives to North Carolina, after President Trump expresses impatience about talks of a more limited Republican National Convention because of the pandemic.

Environmental, Health Groups Push to Keep Fuel Rules

If maintained, by 2025, clean car standards are expected to save consumers close to $1,500 in fuel. (pippalou/morguefile)
If maintained, by 2025, clean car standards are expected to save consumers close to $1,500 in fuel. (pippalou/morguefile)
September 7, 2017

DETROIT – It's been less than a year since government agencies conducted an extensive review of the Obama administration's fuel efficiency standards, and clean energy advocates want to put the brakes on a new attempt to repeat the entire process.

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency held an all-day meeting on its proposal to reconsider requirements that the U.S. car and light truck fleet achieve an average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Carol Lee Rawn, director of Transportation Programs for the nonprofit group Ceres, attended the hearing. On top of the health benefits of reducing emissions, she maintains the current standards are keys to innovation and to ensuring that Detroit stays a driving force in the automotive world.

"It's necessary to have strong standards in place in order to protect the leadership position of the United States,” she stresses. “It's not going to be able to compete in this new world if it's falling behind on fuel efficiency and new technologies."

Critics say clean car standards place too much of a burden on manufacturers. However last year's review, in which the car companies were involved, found the standards to be reasonable and affordable for both consumers and automakers.

Michigan currently has more than 180 facilities that make components and materials that improve fuel efficiency, providing jobs that Rawn says would be in jeopardy if the standards were rolled back.

Dave Cooke, a senior vehicles analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, says there is clear evidence the standards already are working to save drivers money and cut emissions. He says any kind of a rollback will hit Americans in the pocketbook.

"To date, we're saving about $50 million a day thanks to the standards that are on the books,” he states. “And as long as we stay the course, by 2030 that number will grow to over $300 million per day. "

A recent report found that in the last midterm review, the costs of achieving the standards were overestimated by as much as 40 percent.

The Sierra Club, the American Lung Association and the Environmental Defense Fund are among the groups opposing rollbacks. To date, more than 300,000 comments in favor of keeping the standards have been received by the EPA.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI