Last week, our staff, organizers, and volunteers called on the Environmental Protection Agency to slash climate pollution from cars at a virtual public hearing. And although we’ve participated in dozens of public hearings over the years, this one was special.
Last week’s hearing was the first climate-related public hearing since President Biden took office, and dozens of moms from across the country participated, alongside allies and partners who are faith leaders, health professionals, environmental advocates, state officials, and more. It was amazing to see the enthusiasm. It shows that there’s a tidal wave of public support for addressing the climate crisis that is threatening our children’s health and future and that we’re going to step up and speak out for climate action, every chance we get.
The hearing was about an EPA proposal to restore long-standing state authority to protect residents from climate pollution from cars — something the Trump administration stripped away. Under the leadership of Administrator Michael Regan, EPA wants to once again give California, and any states that choose to adopt California’s standards, permission to set stricter climate pollution standards for cars and light trucks.
The transportation sector is the nation’s leading source of climate-warming carbon pollution. If we want to protect our children from climate change, we simply must cut pollution from cars, trucks, and buses, as quickly as possible.
That’s why reinstating states’ climate action authority is so important. States must be able to protect their residents from the carbon pollution contributing to the climate crisis and threatening their health.
Moms Clean Air Force had 40 moms testify at this hearing, out of a total of about 120 participants. Our moms shared personal stories alongside strong support for the restoration of state authority to protect families from pollution.
This is just the first step in cleaning up the transportation sector. We also need EPA to develop ambitious national standards for climate pollution from both cars and trucks on an aggressive timeline. Without tough clean car standards, automakers will continue to make dirtier cars that pollute the air and harm our health. We want the cars, trucks, and buses on our roads to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our children, instead of harming them.
Speaking up right now is critical, not only because states must be able to protect their residents from transportation pollution, but also because this rule sets the stage for what Biden’s EPA will do next on car pollution. We need to show strong support for EPA’s current proposal so that the agency can take the next step: bold and protective national Clean Car Standards that will clean up the climate and protect the air our families breathe.
EPA will accept written comments about this proposal until July 6. This is an important opportunity to demand cleaner cars for our families’ health. And because it’s the first climate change docket at EPA since Biden took office, it’s especially important that we raise our voices for cleaner cars.