I’m in the market for a new car. I’m looking for a car maker with integrity and leadership on clean air standards. Toyota’s Prius was one of the cars at the top of my list. But then I learned that Toyota is leading the charge against the health protections given us by the Clean Car Standards.
I was so stunned to learn of Toyota’s back room dealing that I triple-checked. It is true: Behind the veil of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Toyota USA is the leader in pushing Trump and EPA Administrator Polluting Scott Pruitt (who has never met a health protection he likes) to roll back fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.
Toyota USA is breaking a trust with American shoppers. It is using the cover of announcements about electric vehicles while working behind the scenes to undermine health protections.
If they are successful in their efforts, our air gets dirtier. Children and the elderly, whose hearts and lungs are more vulnerable to pollution, get sicker—and we’ll spend more at the pump. And it means U.S.-made cars are less competitive globally, because everywhere else in the world, people want cleaner and more efficient cars. In doing so, we also pass on the opportunity to create 50,000 jobs for Americans in vehicle manufacturing and assembly.
I’m a mother, and a grandmother. I know that the majority of car-buying decisions are made by women. We care deeply about safety and efficiency—and we don’t intend to add more pollution to our air, because we’re the ones making the emergency room runs when our children seize up with asthma attacks.
Pruitt has also announced that he is working with Toyota to gut EPA staff, as Trump’s proposed budget reflects a 30% slash. That means fewer people to enforce clean air protections, fewer people to analyze pollution problems, fewer people to solve them. It means crippling the Clean Air Act—a jewel in the crown of American law, and the envy of countries around the world.