NRDC: $170 billion in higher gas pump costs, 300,000 jobs at risk under Trump scheme

gas pricesThe Trump administration move to roll back clean car and fuel economy standards could cost U.S. consumers $170 billion more at the pump, jeopardize 300,000 clean-energy jobs and undercut standards that are reducing harmful air pollutants, experts from the Natural Resources Defense Council warned today in a phone-based press briefing.

The administration unveiled its long-awaited proposal to gut popular and effective clean car and fuel economy standards today, and NRDC experts provided an analysis of its many failings.

“We should be accelerating our efforts to reduce pollution in order to protect our health and planet,” Luke Tonachel, director for clean vehicles and fuels at NRDC, said on the call. “But under the Trump administration’s plan, consumers will be forced to shell out an additional $170 billion at the pump and hand it over to oil companies.”

“This proposal runs counter to a plain reading of the law, and if the Trump administration goes forward with it, we will challenge it — and we will prevail,” said Ben Longstreth, a senior attorney at NRDC. “The agencies have resurrected previously debunked arguments about why California cannot set its own standards. They lost in court last time they tried this, and we are confident they will lose again.”

“California’s devastating wildfires show the state has a compelling and extraordinary need to safeguard its air and fight the devastating effects of climate change,” said Simon Mui, the California lead for clean cars at NRDC. “This proposal reads like a bad script in which we’re forced to imagine states aren’t being harmed by bad air quality and climate change hasn’t exacerbated fatal heat waves and wildfires.”

The current standards, finalized in 2012, were designed to nearly double new vehicles’ fuel economy and cut their carbon pollution in half by 2025. The Trump administration’s proposal would halt that progress, meaning more pollution from vehicles, which is a health risk and contributes to climate change. Transportation is currently the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the nation.

NRDC President Rhea Suh issued a statement immediately following the administration’s announcement of the proposal.

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