FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2020
Climate & Health Program Manager, ANHE
Nurses Denounce Trump Administration’s Rollback of Clean Car Standards
[Washington, DC] (March 31, 2020) – Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced their decision to rollback the 2022-2026 clean car standards. Current standards require about a 5 percent reduction in annual CO2 emissions yearly, with this new proposal only requiring a 1.5% reduction per year. In response to the decision today, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments’ (ANHE) Executive Director, Katie Huffling, MS, RN, CNM, FAAN released the following statement:
“The decision to rollback fuel economy and vehicle CO2 emissions standards will only harm the American people. Pollution from tailpipe emissions has significant ramifications for human health, including negative impacts to lung health, harm to those with chronic conditions, and even leading to premature death. Imposing health and economic burdens on Americans while we are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic furthers adds insult to injury.
“EPA and NHTSA’s leadership utilize economic practicability and safety to justify this rollback. We cannot fall into the false claims that in order to have a robust economy we have to reduce the stringency of environmental regulations, putting public health at risk. Cleaner and more efficient vehicles means cleaner air, healthier people, and a thriving economy and has broad public support.
“Today’s decision also ignores the need for urgent action to address the unfolding climate crisis. This proposed rollback goes against what the sciences demands and would exacerbate the ongoing disaster as well as worsen existing health inequities for groups that already bear a disproportionate burden of health impacts from climate change. Rolling back critical safeguards to help our country address climate change is reckless. The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments strongly opposes this decision and calls on EPA to put public health first.”
The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment. The mission of the Alliance is to promote healthy people and healthy environments by educating and leading the nursing profession, advancing research, incorporating evidence-based practice, and influencing policy.