EPA move to revoke California vehicle emissions waiver generates bipartisan outrage

E.A. Crunden

E.A. Crunden Reporter, Think Progress

A bipartisan group of nearly 70 lawmakers are asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to preserve a waiver allowing California to regulate its own vehicle efficiency standards, which the Trump administration has threatened to revoke.

In a letter sent to acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Tuesday, 68 House members urged the agency to halt plans they say could severely impact public health, Politico first reported Thursday.

Under the Clean Air Act, California has historically been allowed to set its own air pollution standards for new motor vehicles if granted an EPA waiver. The state’s stronger standards have been adopted by 12 states and the District of Columbia, which the letter’s signatories argue collectively represent more than 35 percent of the U.S. population and 1 in every 3 cars sold in the country.

The letter, shared with ThinkProgress, argues that “hundreds of thousands of premature deaths” have been prevented thanks to the stronger standards, along with “hundreds of millions of cases” of diseases relating to respiratory and cardiovascular issues.

“Thanks to these high standards, many states have significantly reduced pollutants like health-threatening smog and soot, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to help combat climate change,” the letter continues. “Automakers and their suppliers have risen to the challenge of achieving technology-driving standards.”
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Senators Tell the Federal Trade Commission to Get Tougher on “Made in the USA” Cheats

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Nearly 4,000 people signed onto our action last week urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to impose tougher penalties on companies that falsely label their imported products as “Made in USA.”

It turns out a few Senators also sent a similar message of their own to the agency.

Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), and Chris Murphy (Conn.) sent a letter to the FTC on Oct. 12 to “express our concerns with ‘no-fault, no-money’ settlements for ‘Made in the USA’ labeling violations” and “urge the Commission to take all steps necessary to protect the integrity of the label.” The trio continue:

“Consumers view American-made goods more positively and are often willing to pay a higher price for them. In addition, consumers may be less likely to have health or quality concerns about a product when its true country of origin is concealed. If the consequences of misusing the “Made in the USA” label do not include paying fines or admitting wrongdoing, it is unlikely that these and other companies will be deterred from using the same deceptive tactics to sell their products in the future.” 

The senators specifically were responding to recent rulings by the FTC that found three individual companies labeled their products as “Made in USA” but actually imported them from countries like China.

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No Surprise Here: U.S. Defense Supply Chain is Reliant on China & Other Rivals, Report Finds

Jesús Espinoza

Jesús Espinoza Press Secretary, AAM

The Defense Department released an urgent report on Friday outlining how its supply chains are alarmingly reliant on China and other potential military rivals for essential materials.

How can the U.S. military properly defend our nation if it can’t source what it needs from domestic sources -- and instead must depend on potential adversaries for those materials?

The simple answer: it can’t.

This shouldn’t be surprising, though.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has been sounding the alarm on this pressing issue since 2013, when we published a report that identified many of the same weaknesses in our military supply chains and overall defense preparedness.

Authored by Brig. Gen. John Adams, U.S. Army (Ret.), ReMaking American Security found glaring gaps in our military’s ability to source materials that produce everything from steel armor plate and lithium ion batteries to hellfire missile propellant and biological weapons defense—important tools that could mean life or death for Americans in combat.

The origin of many of these weaknesses is the fact that our leaders have neglected our vital manufacturing sector for too long. Every action—or inaction—has a consequence, and these cracks in America’s armor have only widened because Washington fails to thoroughly back policies that support the factories, workers, and mines that source the essential resources and goods our military requires.

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