Monday, March 03, 2014

Clean Air Watch Hails EPA "Tier 3" Clean-Fuel, Clean-Car Standards

Dear friends,

 Now that EPA has posted the information online  I guess it is fair to comment on the agency’s final “Tier 3” clean-gasoline, clean-car standards.  No doubt many people will be commenting today, so I will keep this short on behalf of Clean Air Watch.   If you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to email.
--Frank O’Donnell
President, Clean Air Watch


This is a great day for the breathing public!  This could prove to be the signature clean-air accomplishment of the entire Obama second term.

Without any doubt, this is the most significant move to protect public health that the EPA will make this year. 

There is literally no more effective tool to fight smog. There is no action EPA could take to produce such positive results.

 Every American will breathe easier because of these standards.  And every car on the road will immediately pollute less once the clean fuel starts pumping. 

Yes, we know the oil industry is doing the chicken little act.  But let’s take a quick look back at how some of the industry’s earlier predictions panned out:  


When EPA proposed to phase out lead in gasoline in the 1970s, the oil industry claimed there was no public health foundation and that this would cause supply shortages!


Not only was this sky-is-falling prediction dead wrong, we now know that this was one of the best and most urgently-needed health decisions ever made.  Taking lead out of gas reduced the risk of lead toxicity for hundreds of thousands of children. It also decreased the risk of heart attack and stroke in adults.  

In 1999, when EPA proposed the so-called Tier 2 standards to start reducing sulfur in gasoline, once again the oil industry claimed the cleanup wasn’t needed and would cause shutdowns and supply shortages – even threaten national security! [August 2, 1999 comments to EPA by National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.] What utter nonsense – of course these problems didn’t happen!

In the year 2000, after EPA proposed clean-diesel fuel standards, the oil industry again claimed – can you guess? – that this cleanup wasn’t needed and would cause refinery shutdowns and supply shortages.  [April 11, 2000 letter to EPA from American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Red Cavaney.] But the exact opposite happened!  The US now exports clean diesel fuel because EPA stuck to its guns.


So let’s learn from the past.  Let’s remember the oil industry has cried wolf so many times -- and it’s doing it again here. 

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