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Carper statement on Trump administration's SAFE Vehicles Rule

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released a statement March 31 after the Donald Trump administration’s finalization of its roll back of the Obama-era vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards that have proven successful.

The rule, finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation, weakens standards beyond the request of any automaker. This rule follows the September 2019 finalization of Part 1 of the rule that preempts the historic authority of California to set and enforce its own greenhouse gas tailpipe standards, as well as that of the 13 additional states that have adopted those standards, including Delaware.

“The Trump administration has produced and today unveiled a fundamentally flawed rule that utterly fails to uphold any of the promises it has been making for the past three years,” said Carper. “The so-called SAFE Vehicles rule will not deliver safer, more affordable and environmentally friendly vehicles for American consumers. In fact, it does the exact opposite, and fails to provide any demonstrable benefit to American consumers, industry or the environment whatsoever.”

“The reality is that this rule will lead to more greenhouse gas emissions, more premature deaths and higher consumer costs,” said Carper. “This outcome is almost laughable, except for the fact that its consequences are no laughing matter. The cars, trucks and vans that we drive are our country’s largest source of global warming pollution, and under this rule, that inauspicious trend will continue and grow. This rule will lead to dirtier air at a time when our country is working around the clock to respond to a respiratory pandemic whose effects may be exacerbated by air pollution. The automotive sector is already reeling from economic turmoil related to the public health crisis of COVID-19, and now, with this rule, the Trump administration is subjecting American automakers to more disarray and economic hardship. This rule will not provide regulatory relief to automakers. It is sure to be overturned by the courts and lead to costly, prolonged litigation, creating more regulatory uncertainty while automakers are left hanging in the balance. Sadly, this outcome is the very same one that America’s automotive industry sought to avoid.”

“Electric and alternative fuel vehicles are the future,” said Carper. “As consumers demand more fuel-efficient vehicles, forward-looking vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards have helped American automakers innovate, create jobs here at home and compete in the global market. But instead of helping America’s automotive industry innovate, compete and win, the Trump administration is holding our country hostage to the dirty vehicles of the past.”