air quality

House Democrats say EPA Decision to Roll Back Vehicle Emission Standards ​​​​will Hurt Utah’s Efforts to Improve Air Quality

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: April 3, 2018

Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Democratic Caucus
(801) 326-1568 |

House Democrats say EPA Decision to Rollback Vehicle Emission Standards
will Hurt Utah’s Efforts to Improve Air Quality

SALT LAKE CITY – If the Trump EPA gets its way, Utah’s air will not improve nearly as fast as Utah citizens are demanding.

Today House Democrats criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to begin dismantling vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards for model year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks – a regulation that is critical to improve Utah’s poor air quality. Vehicles contribute almost half of the harmful air pollution that northern Utah experiences every year.

House Democrats called on the Governor and Utah’s Congressional delegation to protect Utah’s long-term air quality interests.   

“Historically, the EPA has done much more to improve our air pollution problems than the state itself,” said Minority Leader Rep. Brian King. “Even our Republican colleagues must admit that in our free market system, immediate profit motives are more important to businesses than long-term public benefits.  Automakers have to routinely be prodded to improve, or we all suffer the consequences.  This reckless decision from Trump’s EPA could stall for decades to come the progress Utah has made on air quality.”     

“This action is a serious step back in our efforts to improve our air quality. EPA Administrator Pruitt’s decision, which is not based on scientific evidence or facts, clearly favors some automakers who are more interested in profits than the health of Americans,” said Rep. Patrice Arent, who is the Founder and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Clean Air Caucus.  She added, “This will not only hurt vulnerable Utahns, it will hurt our state’s economy.” 

While new “Tier 3” fuel standards are expected to improve vehicle emissions in coming years as people drive newer cars, additional vehicle standards are necessary to help Utah overcome our challenging air pollution problems. Utah remains in “serious” noncompliance with the EPA’s own clean air guidelines, and the state will face stringent and expensive measures if improvements are not made.  The Utah Department of Environmental Quality recently reported that the Salt Lake Valley is likely to remain out of compliance at least through 2024 – and that comment was made before this EPA decision to roll-back the previous administration’s emissions standards.


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