EPA Releases Proposed Determination

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The Environmental Protection Agency recently released its Proposed Determination, the next step in the mid-term evaluation of Light-Duty Vehicle Green House Gas Emission Standards. The proposed determination declares that the EPA will continue to move forward with fuel efficiency standards, which will nearly double the fuel efficiency of cars and light duty trucks model years 2022-2025. Operation Free has long been advocating for this shift toward fuel efficiency as it has recognized our country’s dependence on oil as detrimental to our national security interests and contributing to climate change.

In our public comment on the Draft Technical Assessment Report (TAR), we noted the importance of reducing U.S. oil dependence in order to strengthen our national security by supporting the U.S. economy, increasing global stability, and sending fewer of our men and women into harm’s way. The decision to move forward with the standards confirms the analysis presented in the TAR and strengthens the relationship between fuel efficiency and national security.

The transportation sector recently surpassed the electric power sector as the top source of carbon pollution, a main driver of climate change. As the Department of Defense’s Report on National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate affirms, climate change is widely recognized as a “threat-multiplier.” Climate change will exacerbate existing national security threats by pushing already unstable states to near constant crisis. To combat the threat of climate change head on, we need to encourage the production of cleaner, more modern vehicles that produce less carbon pollution.

Despite agreeing to these standards in 2012, some automakers and industry groups have recently argued to weaken the standards in light of a new administration taking power. Our community rejects this notion and affirms that undermining achievable fuel efficiency will hinder national security by threating our economy and stalling clean energy innovation.

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