Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sierra Club opposes bill in US Senate that would block clean car standards

March 15, 2011

US Senate
Washington, DC  20515

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the 1.4 million members and supporters of the Sierra Club, I urge you to oppose  Senator Inhofe’s S. 482. This irresponsible legislation exceeds the bounds of reasonable Congressional authority, overturning the scientifically-based endangerment finding and the 2007 decision by the US Supreme Court in Massachusetts v. EPA. By attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to do its job, this bill jeopardizes the health of American families, threatens our economic prosperity, and prolongs our debilitating addiction to oil.

S. 482 strikes at the heart of the Clean Air Act, a landmark piece of legislation that has enjoyed strong bi-partisan support since 1970. Over the past forty years, the Clean Air Act has been instrumental in protecting the health of our communities and families, preventing over 400,000 premature deaths and hundreds of millions of cases of respiratory and cardiovascular disease. And it has done so at much lower cost than skeptics predicted – recent EPA analysis has shown that for every $1 invested in implementing the Clean Air Act the US economy has enjoyed $30 in benefits.

By jeopardizing the National Program of vehicle standards from 2012-2016 and blocking future EPA clean car standards, S. 482 commits Americans to paying billions of dollars more at the pump and keeps our nation addicted to oil. Current vehicle standards will cut our dependence on oil by 1.8 billion barrels, reduce global warming pollution by 960 million metric tons and save consumers $3,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle. Because EPA’s vehicle standards can additional factors into consideration, such as air conditioning, they will save 25 percent more oil and provide nearly $60 billion more in savings at the pump than fuel economy standards alone.

Americans strongly support the efforts of the EPA to protect them from the impacts of unchecked pollution. A recent poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner indicates that 69% of Americans would like to see even stricter limits on pollution. Rather than delivering the protections the public would like to see, S. 482 would handcuff the EPA from implementing measured, common-sense standards to begin addressing the public health concerns of unlimited pollution.

We urge you to stand with us in putting the health of American families before the interests of corporate polluters by opposing Senator Inhofe’s irresponsible S. 482.


Michael Brune
Executive Director
The Sierra Club