March 31, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) - Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced their plan to move forward with rolling back fuel emission standards for model years 2021-2026 passenger cars and light trucks. The final rule, Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule, abandons one of the most effective safeguards we had on the books for fighting the climate crisis. Climate change acts as a “threat multiplier” by destabilizing already fragile regions of the world, increasing the demands placed on the U.S. military and strengthening the extremist groups that we fight.
Sherri Goodman, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security) and Truman Advisory Board member issued the following statement:
“The Trump Administration’s rollback of fuel economy standards makes America even less prepared for the climate crisis, similar to the rollback of the National Flood Protection standards which have made coastal areas more vulnerable to flooding. Today we are paying lives for our lack of preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of medical supplies and capability. Tomorrow we will be paying in lives and lost international competitiveness from our failure to move towards a low carbon economy.”
Our national security depends on America’s ability to reduce our dependence on oil and cut the harmful emissions that cause climate change. This rollback is an abandonment of science, reason and responsibility at a time where we urgently need sound leadership. To make matters worse, the Trump administration chose this moment to further endanger people’s health and the national security of the United States.