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CU highlights benefits and savings from cleaner emissions at EPA field hearing

April 24, 2013

Consumers Union Highlights Benefits and Savings from Cleaner Emissions at EPA Field Hearing

PHILADELPHIA – At an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) field hearing in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, will point to vehicle benefits and consumer cost savings in support of proposed standards for cleaner gasoline and lower-pollution vehicles nationwide.

Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union, will testify at the hearing on the Tier-3 standards that aim to improve air quality by curbing the sulfur content of gasoline and setting new tailpipe standards to limit smog emissions.

“Not only will these standards lead to tremendous health and environmental benefits, but they help automakers deliver more fuel-efficient vehicles to consumers,” said Baker-Branstetter.

The proposed standards would ultimately benefit both owners of existing cars as well as new cars. Low-sulfur gasoline would help clean up the exhaust of older vehicles and increase the lifespan of their emission systems.  In new cars it would improve reliability and lower the costs of maintaining the emissions systems.

In addition, the standards would enable automakers to develop new, cost-effective technologies that could lead to higher fuel-efficiency. The proposed rules are estimated to only add less than 1 cent per gallon of gas. In comparison, by the time fuel economy rules are fully implemented in 2025 consumers could save an estimated $1.30 per gallon.

Baker-Branstetter said, “It would be ‘pennywise, but tons foolish’ to save a cent on gasoline, only to have to pay more for our health and overall fuel consumption as a result of additional tons of pollution.”

Consumers Union will also join supporters of the standards representing a wide variety of groups at a press conference prior to the field hearing. The groups include the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, the National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery; Appalachian Mountain Club, Moms Clean Air Force, and the Clean Air Council.

“The proposed emissions standards have garnered support from unlikely allies, including automakers, environmental groups and consumer organizations like Consumers Union for a reason,” said Baker-Branstetter. “This common-sense rule is good for car owners, and it’s good for our health. We urge the EPA to finalize the rule and implement it swiftly.”

Earlier this month, Consumers Union launched a petition in support of the Tier-3 standards.  To read the Consumers Union’s testimony, click here.  To learn more, visit www.OurGreenEnergyFuture.org.