Alabama labor, conservation groups oppose EPA rollback of clean car standards

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Labor union representatives and conservation group leaders are voicing their concerns about President Donald Trump‘s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to rollback clean car standards.

“At the pump, we are paying more and more for gasoline, the clean car standards provide the mechanism to move towards the higher miles per gallon vehicle in our country,” Mark Bentley with Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, told WHNT-19.

The standards, finalized in 2012, would have required companies to target a goal of 54.5 miles per gallon across their fleets by 2025, will annual year-over-year improvement. The vehicles would have needed to have a range between 31 and 61 miles per gallon, depending on the type and size.

The federal government is proposing freezing the standards for six years at the 2020 target of 39 miles per gallon.

According to WHNT-19, the Union of Concerned Scientists says Alabama has saved $600 million because of the clean car standards.

“What happens is you won’t get the benefit of the higher miles per gallon. You will be paying more at the pump. You will be visiting the pump more often for fuel,” Bentley added.

Meanwhile, the Union of Concerned Scientist say the clean car standards could create jobs in the state. Alabama’s GASP group claims the Yellowhammer State could expect 11,900 new jobs by 2030 as a result of the standards.

These leaders are traveling the state to promote clean car standards in hopes of influencing local elected officials to support reinstating them.