Press Release from Synergetic Endeavors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2019

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Brian O’Shea
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Charlotte City and Mecklenburg County Elected Officials Join Community Leaders to Speak Out Against Rolling Back America’s Clean Car Standards

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Today, Charlotte City Council Member Dimple Ajmera and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Susan Rodriguez-McDowell were joined by community leaders for a press conference in Charlotte to oppose the proposed rollback of America’s clean car standards by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator Heidi King.

America’s clean car standards were finalized in August 2012, increasing fuel efficiency and reducing pollution from the transportation sector. Supported by automakers, unions, public health groups, and environmentalists, these federal fuel economy and pollution standards for new cars and light trucks have been highly effective in protecting our health and our economy, spurring innovation, job creation, and consumer savings in North Carolina and in other states.

Speakers stressed the importance of protecting the authority of states, established under the Clean Air Act, to adopt stronger tailpipe pollution standards than those set by the federal government in order to protect the health of their residents, a right currently exercised by 14 states and the District of Columbia, representing over 118 million Americans. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper recently joined a bipartisan coalition of 24 governors in affirming their support for strong clean car standards and preserving state authority.

“North Carolinians want and need strong clean car standards. Not only would this rollback reverse years of progress on reducing pollution, the administration’s proposal would also strip states of their authority under the Clean Air Act to reduce vehicle pollution in their own states. We cannot afford to go backwards,” said Mecklenburg County Commissioner Susan Rodriguez-McDowell.

Speakers also spoke about how the clean car standards have saved North Carolinians money at the pump and spurred innovation in the U.S. automotive industry, creating new manufacturing engineering jobs in the state. To date, the current standards have saved North Carolina $1.2 billion.

“America’s clean car standards are saving consumers money at the pump, and they have spurred innovation, creating new manufacturing and engineering jobs in North Carolina and across the country. There are over 12,000 jobs associated with clean vehicle technologies at 46 facilities right here in North Carolina, and we can expect an estimated 22,500 new jobs and $3,300 in savings by 2030 if the current clean car standards remain in place,” said Charlotte City Council Member Dimple Ajmera.

Speakers also pointed to the public health benefits of the clean car standards. With the transportation sector serving as the country’s largest source of carbon pollution, these standards are the best policies we have on the books to fight climate change. In North Carolina, there are over 264,000 children and 736,000 adults who suffer from asthma. The clean car standards help improve air quality for families across Mecklenburg County.

“Vulnerable communities like Northwood Estates that face high levels of pollution will be disproportionately harmed by the Trump administration’s rollback of the clean car standards. This increased pollution can lead to a variety of health problems, including aggravating asthma and other respiratory illnesses. We are calling on the administration to maintain these standards and protect our residents’ right to breathe clean air,” said Ron Ross, President, Northwood Estates Community Organization.

“Rolling back the clean car standards will allow automakers to produce dirtier cars that pollute our air, fuel climate change, and endanger our health. We can’t afford to gamble with the health of our families and communities by gutting these standards that help protect the air we all breathe,” said June Blotnick, Executive Director, Clean Air Carolina.

The event was concluded by highlighting how Senator Thom Tillis’s failure to speak out against the administration’s rollback of the clean car standards underscores how out of step he is with North Carolinians who want and need these money-saving, pollution-cutting standards left in place.

“With the transportation sector now the country’s largest source of carbon pollution, America’s clean car standards are the best policy we have on the books to fight climate change. Rolling back these important standards is exactly the wrong approach. Senator Tillis’s refusal to speak out against the rollback shows how out of step he is with North Carolinians who want and need these standards left in place, and support bold action to address the climate crisis,” said Shannon Binns, Executive Director, Sustain Charlotte.

For a video of the press conference, click HERE.

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