Saturday, February 11, 2012

Testimony of Pennsylvania Clean Air's Susan Wolf At EPA/NHTSA Clean Car Hearing in Philly

Good day. My name is Susan Wolf. I am happy to be a citizen of the United States and have the opportunity to speak at this public hearing in favor of higher auto fuel efficiency standards.

Climate Change Is A Major Concern
I speak as a citizen who is very concerned about climate change and its effect on our planet, the people and creatures that inhabit the Earth, and all of nature that is being affected by the changes that we all are witnessing. The scientific community is alarmed by the serious damage that has already occurred to our planet. The EPA has written about the harm that is projected to come to the all of us as a result of climate change, and, as you know, this information is found on your own website.

The EPA site addresses how climate change will impact temperature changes leading to increased heat waves affecting vulnerable people including those with heart problems, asthma, the elderly and the very young. Your site acknowledges that there will be increases in extreme weather such as floods and hurricanes as well as droughts, leading to event related deaths, injuries, infectious diseases and stress-related illnesses. Your site also address that temperature increases will lead to an increase in mosquitoes and other insects leading to a rise in such diseases as malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever. It also focuses on how all this will impact agriculture and food production, leading to problems with starvation, as already witnessed in Africa. And we certainly witnessed the effects of drought in Texas this past summer and its impact on cattle and agriculture and food production.

Carbon Emissions Carry High Health Costs
I am very concerned about the impact of carbon emissions on health and the increase in such diseases as cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cardiovascular disease. Those most at risk are children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. These diseases are costly in money, health and general emotional well-being. I would like to see some studies around the impact of carbon emissions on health care costs. And of course, we feel more of the impact in densely populated areas- such as in Philadelphia. I who live in Cherry Hill feel it more and more as we increase the number of shopping centers and subsequent cars on the road.

Government Standards Are Needed
I am grateful for the Clean Air Act. And now I am extremely pleased with the improved fuel efficiency standards that have been proposed by the Obama Administration. I urge that these standards are adopted without any exemptions to their rules if we are to take climate change seriously.

We as a nation need to take climate change seriously. We must abide by standards that will cut carbon emissions and the health risks that are associated with it. We must reduce our addiction to oil and continue to be creative with the development of renewable energy sources. I know we can and will be successful with this endeavor.

By adopting these standards we as a nation show we are serious in our concern. These standards are a win-win for all. I applaud the Obama administration for developing these standards and taking climate change seriously.

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