In the halls of the Washington Auto Show at the DC Convention Center, gleaming cars from dozens of manufacturers beckon you to sit in the driver’s seat and imagine the drive. It’s all a lavish love song to the innovation of global automakers.
But behind the slick displays hides a different story. Right now, major automakers like Toyota, Ford, and GM are using the lobbying muscle of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to weaken tailpipe standards for cars.
Yesterday, a group of families from across the country joined Moms Clean Air Force at a Senate field hearing at the Washington Auto Show. After the hearing, we discussed our concerns with a Toyota executive, and shared with him some of the many comments we’ve received from you, letting us know that Toyota’s efforts to weaken tailpipe standards do not sit well with the moms and dads of America.
The families in our group — hailing from Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Virginia, and Wisconsin — enjoyed seeing all the new makes and models. But we were not there for our love of cars, no matter how dazzling. We were there for our love of kids.
Current tailpipe rules reduce the pollution that contributes to climate change and benefit all Americans’ health, especially the most vulnerable among us. Six million children have asthma in this country.
The current rules also put money back into our wallets; we get more miles out of every tank. The biggest market for fuel efficient cars is in California. To our relief, during another discussion, EPA’s Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum, who is the agency’s top air official, noted that he had “no interest in withdrawing California’s ability to regulate” cars.
Still, the agency has reopened national tailpipe standards that are in place and working, a move that will erode health protections for our families.
Companies like Toyota publicly tout their fuel efficiency achievements — but privately lobby to weaken fuel efficiency standards. We are calling out the hypocrisy.