Beyer critical of weakened EPA fuel economy standards

Don BeyerThe EPA picked an interesting time to announce a rollback of fuel economy standards.

“This is not the time to weaken safety standards designed to protect public health,” Congressman Don Beyer, D-Va., said in response to the move, which would require automakers to increase fuel economy across their fleets by 1.5 percent a year, with a goal of achieving an average of about 40 miles per gallon by 2026.

Current rules mandate annual increases of 5 percent, reaching an average of 54 mpg by 2025.

“This is not the time to dirty our air with increased carbon and other air pollution that will particularly harm those with respiratory conditions,” Beyer said. “This is not the time to deny the advice of scientists and experts who warn that strong, decisive action on climate change is needed to avert disaster for future generations.”

Nearly 900 million more tons of carbon dioxide are expected to be released under the new rule than under the Obama-era standards, a result of less efficient cars burning an additional 78 billion gallons of fuel.

“We expect the Trump Administration to put corporate profits before public health and scientific guidance, but it’s particularly egregious and disgraceful that they did this now,” Beyer said.

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