My name is Mary Alice Cicerale. I am a long-time librarian. I am a Philadelphia resident and a member of both the Sierra Club and the American Association of Retired Persons. Thank you for this opportunity to meet with you tonight.
We All Need Clean Air
I am like every American. I want to breathe clean air, use and drink clean water and enjoy unpolluted land. That’s why I support environmental organizations that work to ensure a healthy earth for present and future generations.
Although, I'm not a grandparent myself, I care for grandchildren everywhere and for the future generations we speak of; and I care for all my friends and relatives. Young or old, active or not, we all share a common need with all of humanity: clean air. Enjoying the outdoors requires clean air, but it is not always there. Just recently, I could not hike with one of my best friends in Phoenix. He has health issues and the smog index was too high.
When I was a child, I only wanted to be out-of-doors. Coming inside, even in winter, was a trial. It felt like an unfair exile, or a punishment. Today, going outside, hiking, and being outdoors in general is still very important for me.
Fuel Efficiency Standards Ensure Clean Air
Last summer I was happy to see that the new standards for vehicles sold this year through 2016 were set: a sensible 35.5 miles per gallon and 250 grams of carbon pollution per mile. And this November, I was even happier to see that the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration upheld the white house-proposed standards for new passenger cars and trucks sold from 2017 through 2025.
These proposed fuel efficiency standards are important steps in the right direction. They are also the biggest steps we can take to reduce our dependence on oil and significantly cut carbon pollution.
Americans Are Passionate About Clean Environment
I joined the Sierra Club because I care so much about being outdoors and holding on to that one natural joy of childhood. But today, with this testimony, the club also gives me a chance to make a personal difference.
Americans who cannot be here tonight say with us: we applaud your efforts to ensure clean air, unpolluted land and fresh water on this lovely North American continent. We all share these basic, passionate concerns -- clean air and unpolluted water.
Please continue to uphold the integrity of the final standards. Do not allow loopholes, credits, and flexibilities to undermine the stringency of vehicle standards. Please have the best interests of our future at heart and continue work for transportation guidelines that protect everyone.