Last Monday, the EPA announced that they would revoke Obama-era standards that required cars and light trucks sold in the US to average more than 50 mpg by 2025. What are they scared of? Are they afraid of cars being more efficient? Are they scared of cleaner air and a cleaner environment? Are they afraid we will be healthier and there will be less of a burden on the healthcare system? Are they scared of us becoming less dependent on oil?
California still has authority to set its own emissions limits and threatened to sue if its waiver is repealed. It turns out, Scot Pruitt’s decision reflects the power of the auto industry. Apparently, they asked him to revisit the Obama administration’s standard just days after he took office. President Trump said he was determined to roll back the emissions rules as a part of an effort to “jump-start” the nation’s car industry… He and Pruitt thought Obama set the standards too high.
We as a nation are used to rising to challenges and overcoming insurmountable odds. We overcame the “Great Depression”, “Great Recession”, and even won the space race and became the first country to send a man to the moon. Technology has advanced so fast in the last few decades, our cars now get the best gas mileage ever. The US fleet averaged 31.8 mpg for year 2017 according to federal figures. Why should we retreat from a challenge to produce more efficient cars and trucks? Ford and Honda urged the government to maintain the current requirements. It is estimated that the Obama era rule will save 12 billion barrels of oil. The rollback negates the opportunity for the US to be a leader in the global market for efficient cars.
What does this mean and how will this affect the people in our community? First, it shows the power of the auto and oil lobby. They argued for more lenient standards to build a cheaper less efficient car. Secondly, this means the air we breathe will be more polluted than promised in the places we work, live and play. Thirdly, a direct result of this will be a less healthy community. People of color already suffer from more airborne diseases like asthma than any other community. Finally, it shows the Trump administration is less concerned about the future and more concerned about money.
For over a year now, we have been told the economy will allow us to have higher paying jobs and a brighter future. Some drank that Kool-Aid. Oh Yeah!!! Meanwhile, our government cut taxes, and some have temporarily received higher paychecks. But for how long and at what cost? Meanwhile, the economy has failed to reach its promised status. The unemployment rate has dropped but I haven’t had a raise or gotten a better job because of it. Have you?
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