John DeCicco for Yale Environment 360: The ‘Job-Killing’ Fiction Behind Trump’s Retreat on Fuel Economy Standards

Monday, March 20, 2017
Author: 
John DeCicco

When President Trump traveled to Michigan last week to announce that his administration will reevaluate (and almost certainly weaken) a key environmental achievement of the past decade —new fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for cars and light trucks — he alleged that “industry-killing regulations” had contributed to a loss of jobs in the U.S. automobile sector. The truth is, however, that there is no factual basis for the claim that stricter standards have killed jobs. There is, however, abundant evidence that these regulations have saved Americans billions of dollars at the pump, bolstered U.S. energy independence, fostered automotive innovation, and led to major reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

In taking this step, President Trump is following a prompt from the auto industry, whose two major trade associations have been angling to weaken the standards. Their complaints are among a slew of special pleadings sent to a new White House clearly sympathetic to big-league moneyed interests. In fact, when the EPA posted a notice on its web site last week announcing that it was reviewing the greenhouse gas emission standards, it prominently placed a link to the Auto Alliance’s request to reconsider the regulations. I, for one, can’t recall when a public agency prominently featured the opinions of lobbyists for an industry it regulates on an official federal webpage. 

Read the full piece at Yale Environment 360

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