Marino, state differ on Trump’s plan for vehicle efficiency standards

State Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell and leaders from the health and environmental communities this week condemned the Trump Administration’s plan for what they claim will weaken federal vehicle efficiency standards.

“If EPA follows through with these planned changes, it will hurt Pennsylvanians’ lungs and their wallets,” McDonnell said. “Pennsylvania has made great strides in improving our air quality, and these rules would undercut that progress, as well as hamstring economic growth in new technologies.”

Transportation contributes nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania, and 37 percent of emissions of nitrogen oxides, according to McDonnell.

“The Wolf administration is not going to stand idly by while President Trump and the EPA try to make our air quality worse. DEP and Attorney General Josh Shapiro have both signed on to a lawsuit challenging these rules, and will keep fighting for cleaner air,” McDonnell said.

U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Cogan Station, applauded the Trump Administration plan.

He released the following statement: “The decision by the Trump Administration to revise emissions standards was a positive announcement. The last administration forced the regulation through over a year ahead of schedule avoiding thorough vetting, an all too typical circumvention of the Administrative Procedures Act we became accustomed to during the Obama years.

“The standard finalized in the waning days of the last administration was based on an overly stringent California rule and was solely dedicated to preventing President Trump from making a fact-based determination on emission standards. The decision would increase the price of cars, was out of touch with consumer demands, and the costs simply outweigh the benefits for the majority of states in the nation. I support appropriate regulation that provides clean air for Pennsylvanians and will work for those outcomes, however, California will not dictate national environmental policies that are a burden to the hard-working citizens of PA-10 on my watch.”

U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard, did not respond to questions for this story.

“Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean air and pure water,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “Right now, over 6 million Pennsylvanians are breathing harmful air. I strongly oppose the Trump administration’s plans to roll back clean car standards, which are critical to protecting Pennsylvanians’ health.”

PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur said, “Clean cars are a triple win for Pennsylvanians because they’re good for our health, save us money in our pocketbooks and protect our environment. We need to be putting the pedal to the metal and promote more clean cars and fuel efficiency, not putting the brakes on a successful and time-tested policy.”