Letter to the Editor: Recent action takes us backwards on auto-efficiency standards

Thank you, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, for standing up for cleaner cars. As the senior ranking member of the Senate Environment Committee, our Sen. Carper has blasted the recent rollback of auto emissions standards.

On March 31, the US EPA finalized their attack on the previous administration’s efforts to clean our air and curb sea level rise, by slicing the improvements in auto fuel efficiency.

Instead of sticking with what automakers had already agreed to do – that is, improve fuel efficiency by 5% per year over the next few years – the new rule will put the brakes on those good plans. The result will be that drivers will not be able to go as far on a tank of gasoline, the air will be dirtier than it would have been under the good rules, and America will continue to relinquish our leadership role in addressing climate change and sea level rise.

This is particularly a bad policy choice, coming during the COVID-19 crisis. Why? Because increased air pollution makes asthma worse, and those with severe asthma are more susceptible to health impacts from the virus.

Also, the economy is suffering, and we don’t need to make drivers pay more at the pump with fuel inefficient cars. Then, too, car sales are taking a hit, especially electric vehicles which can deliver even cheaper fuel costs – electricity costs about 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of gasoline, mile for mile – and lower maintenance costs – no oil changes or tune-ups.

Other countries from Asia to Europe are mandating or encouraging cleaner vehicles, including electric vehicles. America must not be left behind in this race to the future.

Charlie Garlow
President, Delaware Electric Vehicle Association (DEEVA)
Rehoboth Beach