Monday, April 04, 2011

UAW to Congress: vote no on bill to gut EPA climate authority

INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE & AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA – UAW
BOB KING, President DENNIS WILLIAMS, Secretary-Treasurer
VICE PRESIDENTS: JOE ASHTON • CINDY ESTRADA • GENERAL HOLIEFIELD • JIMMY SETTLES

IN REPLY REFER TO

April 4, 2011

1757 N STREET, N.W.

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036

TELEPHONE: (202) 828-8500
FAX (202) 293-3457

Dear Representative:


The House is expected to vote this week on H.R. 910, the so-called Energy Tax Prevention Act. This bill would strip the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases that cause climate change and endanger the health and welfare of all Americans. The UAW strongly urges you to vote against H.R. 910.

If enacted, the legislation would:

. Overturn the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision, in Massachusetts v EPA, holding that greenhouse gases (GHGs) constitute “air pollution” within the meaning of the Clean Air Act and that EPA has the duty to regulate it if the agency finds that GHG emissions endanger health and welfare;

. Render null and void EPA’s subsequent endangerment finding that GHG
emissions contribute to climate change and are a danger to human health and welfare;

. Prohibit EPA from regulating GHG emissions, including barring EPA from
continuing its ongoing collaboration with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the model year 2017-25 light duty vehicles standard;

* Cause confusion and almost certainly litigation over the question whether the EPA-NHTSA model year 2012-2016 light duty vehicles standard remains enforceable after the removal of the legal underpinning for EPA’s regulation of GHGs.

The automotive industry, the UAW, and the environmental community worked together with EPA, NHTSA, and the state of California to achieve the historic One National Program that sets standards for fuel efficiency and GHG emissions of light duty vehicles manufactured for model years 2012-2016. When announced, this national program was applauded by all participants. We view this federal regulation as a “win-win,” providing
certainty to the auto industry, while leading to significant oil savings and a cleaner, healthier environment. Moreover, this regulation, in combination with federal policies to

support domestic manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles and their key components, is leading to the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs in the auto sector.

We do not wish to see these accomplishments jeopardized.

The UAW represents one million active and retired members, many of them concentrated in the auto sector. UAW members are also citizens who are deeply affected by the environment in which they live and raise their families. They are concerned about the effects of human-induced climate change for themselves and for future generations. The benefits to human health and welfare flowing from the regulation of GHGs under the
Clean Air Act are substantial, and have positive economic effects.

For these reasons, the UAW supports the continued regulation of tailpipe emissions by EPA under the CAA and strongly urges you to vote against H.R. 910.

Sincerely,

Barbara Somson

Legislative Director

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