Merkley slams Trump move to drive up fuel costs for American drivers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after the Trump administration finalized a freeze of fuel economy standards for cars:

“The only way it makes sense to scrap these fuel standards is if you are determined to do the fossil fuel industry’s bidding, no matter the expense to the rest of America. Clearly, that’s what the Trump Administration is all about.

“Let’s be clear the price that President Trump is willing to pay for fossil fuel industry support. He’s taking money out of Americans’ pockets. These fuel economy standards would have saved consumers hundreds of billions of dollars at the pump.  He’s putting our nation on the path to more childhood asthma, since these standards would have cut down on air pollutants that contribute to thousands of asthma attacks per year. And he’s willing to see more severe droughts, floods, wildfires, devastating hurricanes and the other effects of the climate chaos being driven by carbon pollution.

“He’s also staking out dubious legal ground by seeking to revoke California’s decades-old right to establish pollution standards that protect its citizens, and those of the other 13 states, including Oregon, that have chosen to follow California’s stronger standard to protect public health.  This Administration bends over backwards to give states ‘flexibility’ to allow more pollution, but when states want to protect public health and the environment, the Trump team moves to tie their hands. It’s not a coincidence.

“So much for draining the swamp. Today, the swamp is more dirty and polluted than ever, and unfortunately that means our air will be too.”