By: Laurie Anderson, Colorado Field Organizer, Moms Clean Air Force
Date: August 25, 2021
About: Environmental Protection Agency Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0208
To: Environmental Protection Agency
My name is Laurie Anderson, and I am a field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force. I live in Broomfield, Colorado. Thank you for this opportunity to testify today.
I am a mom of five kids and a mechanical engineer by degree, but I turned my focus to protecting public health and safety after becoming a mom. I also serve as a councilmember for the City and County of Broomfield—speaking on my own behalf.
My community is located along Colorado’s Front Range, where we are known for our majestic mountains and sunshine. However, not so well known is our problematic air inversions, where cool nighttime air traps high levels of pollution up against the Rocky Mountains, which impacts our air quality in Front Range communities. The Denver Metro North Front Range is currently listed in “serious” nonattainment for ground-level ozone, and we just passed the EPA July deadline to be downgraded to “severe” nonattainment as we contend with pollution from the oil and gas sector in the DJ basin combined with vehicle pollution.
Climate change and air pollution is a reality we must contend with, and we must address pollution from all sectors. Therefore, I support this administration’s proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks. The EPA must set the strongest possible federal clean car standards through 2026, avoiding loopholes and putting automakers on track to meet ambitious pollution reduction goals.
A few years ago, recognizing the benefit of leading by example, I switched to an EV in an effort to reduce my own pollution. I purchased my Nissan Leaf understanding that this would be a change, but I have never regretted that decision. Our communities are ready to embrace the change to EVs and cleaner vehicles.
The transportation sector is the largest source of carbon pollution in the US. Cleaning up vehicle pollution is one of the most important things we can do to fight climate change. Additionally, by reducing tailpipe pollution, which includes NOx (a precursor to ozone), we thereby help reduce ground-level ozone pollution, and our hope of getting out of ozone nonattainment, so we can breathe easier along Colorado’s Front Range.
I am also concerned about the impacts of climate change. Last year, Colorado experienced the three worst wildfires in our state’s history, which impacted air quality across the state, and Colorado remains in severe drought on the western slope. We are also facing abnormal weather patterns, such as two tornados over the past couple months in an area where we rarely have a tornado watch. Additionally, Colorado relies on our winter snowpack for our water supply. These impacts are serious, and we must reduce our pollution now.
In order to set us on the path to 100% zero-emissions new vehicle sales by 2035, the near-term standards for climate pollution must be as strong as possible. Therefore, please finalize the strongest possible national greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks through model year 2026.