Clean Cars a Matter of Life and Breath for New York

The American Lung Association gives ten New York counties a failing grade for high ozone days, including some of the state’s most densely populated areas. Photo: 290712/Adobe Stock.

NEW YORK – New York is one of 14 states that has adopted California’s tough auto-emissions standards, and now it’s fighting to keep that right.

When the Trump administration announced last week that it will revoke California’s longstanding waiver allowing it to set tighter emission and fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks, New York was one of 24 states that quickly moved to challenge that change in court.

The American Lung Association gives ten New York counties a failing grade for high ozone days, including some of the state’s most densely populated areas.

The association’s National Senior Vice-President for Public Policy Paul Billings says revoking California’s waiver will be bad for New Yorkers’ health and for the planet.

“New York has partnered with California for decades on more protective tailpipe standards,” says Billings. “This is a big step in the wrong direction that will undermine New York’s efforts to protect air quality and fight climate change.”

The administration argues that tougher standards will make cars more expensive and encourage people to drive older, dirtier cars.

But Billings notes that the tougher standards are not only better for the environment, they also make cars more efficient, saving money on fuel. He says if the administration gets its way, consumers will be the big losers.

“So, we’re going to have vehicles that create more greenhouse-gas pollution, don’t go as far on a tank of gas, and that will mean that more money comes out of a family’s pockets for their monthly transportation costs,” says Billings.

California’s standard would require cars to get 50 miles to the gallon by 2025. The administration wants to freeze the standard at 37 miles per gallon nationwide.

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