Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Testimony of Pennsylvania Clean Air's Carol Ward At EPA/NHTSA Clean Car Hearing In Philly

My name is Carol Ward. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my observations on the need for higher auto fuel efficiency standards for the U.S. The President has opened a vista of opportunity, a milestone in the environmental history of our nation.

Fuel Efficiency Needed To Curb Global Warming 

Since watching the movie by Al Gore, “An Inconvenient Truth”, I have been increasingly concerned about what our greenhouse gases are doing to the balance of nature. Almost every thinking person realizes that we are in a crisis and must to everything we can to remedy the situation. I don’t agree with the phrase “climate change”. I think “global warming is still the correct phrase. America produces 25% of the world’s greenhouse gases. Cars contribute greatly to these gases. So let’s create personal vehicles, small or large with much greater fuel efficiency.

Oil Dependence Jeopardizes Environment 

The results of America’s dependence on foreign oil are clear to see. The environmental cost of oil spills along irreplaceable coastlines destroys properties, recreational areas, fishing, wildlife, and wetlands. The other costs are financial since it is estimated that American families and businesses send one billion dollars a day overseas to the Middle East for oil.

Oil Dependence Jeopardizes National Security 

Think of the tremendous lowering of military costs if our dependence on even two Middle Eastern countries could be eliminated – and it can be by 2030 if the new standards are instituted.

New Standards Will Create New Jobs 

Our economy would benefit the new jobs that would be created. Pennsylvania alone might gain about 10,000 jobs instituting the new vehicle standards. Higher fuel efficiency could be a factor in helping our economy to recover.

New Standards Will Save Money 

In my own case, as a retiree on a fixed income with fairly high medical expenses, I have to budget carefully to cover the cost of the gas I use in my medium sized car. I spend roughly $2,000 a year on gasoline aside from extra trips of several hours each way. I am acutely aware that the high gas prices mean fewer discretionary purchases. I have not put on more than 9,000 miles a year because of conscious choice, making sure I grouped errands together in the same area as well as just doing less driving in general.

New Standards Will Protect Health 

Automobile pollution today contributes to asthma and COPD. Think of the relief that parents would feel if their children could do without medications for asthma and inhalers. Chronic chest conditions are very serious these days. We as citizens need to do all we can to encourage our representatives to stand behind the new standards. This will set an example for other countries and let them know we are serious about preserving the environment, our health, and our economy.

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