Bringing Back Gas Guzzlers? Certainly Not Making America Great Again

In 2012, I was honored by the BlueGreen Alliance for my role in establishing the Obama auto fuel efficiency standards. I was the only environmental leader to stand with the then CEO of GM to support the bailout in the spirit of transforming the auto industry. I share this not to take credit for rules that Trump’s EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is currently dismantling but to remind readers that the Obama auto rules will eliminate our need for foreign oil and the wars that they have spawned over the decades. It will also cut carbon dioxide emissions from autos by 50% by 2025 and it will greatly improve the air quality of every American city. Children will have less asthma.

By manufacturing efficient hybrids and electric cars, America would move to the front of the auto industry worldwide and assure jobs for millions of auto workers. In short, these rules were technology-forcing but achievable. By setting clear and firm goals, innovation happens. By setting goals, the auto industry is less driven by the fluctuations in gasoline prices and the uncertainty of an unstable Middle East. By setting goals, America can be the center of innovation with a growing number of jobs. It is important to note that the auto rules have not caused job losses but actually helped to increase the number of jobs in the industry.

The rest of the world is moving to electric cars and setting mandatory targets. The Trump administration doesn’t get this needed transition but we must. Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 11.42.00 AM



About Larry Schweiger

Larry Schweiger is the Past President and Chief Executive Officer of Citizens for PennFuture. Previously, he was President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation and earlier the CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Larry also served as the Executive Secretary of the Joint (House and Senate) Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and 1st Vice President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. He returned to the National Wildlife Federation in March 2004 with a commitment to confront the climate crisis. He is passionate about protecting nature for our children's future. Larry continues the climate work as the battle moves to the states. Previously, Larry served for eight years as President and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, where he pioneered watershed restoration and promoted ecological research, land conservation, community outreach and Fallingwater restoration. In the past, Larry was the Executive Secretary of the Joint House/Senate Conservation Committee for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs at National Wildlife Federation, and 1st Vice President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Larry wrote a book warning about climate change impacts on nature entitled: "Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth" that won 1st Prize for the best non-fiction at the 2011 Indie Book Awards. Larry started volunteering at age 14 and is an active community leader, having served on more than 40 governing boards, commissions and committees. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Climate Reality; the John Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment; and National Wildlife Federation Action Fund. In 2012, He was honored by the Blue-Green Alliance for the Federation's leadership on the auto rules and was selected as Pennsylvania’s Environmental Professional of the Year in 2002, Pittsburgh of the Year in 2000, and he received a Conservation Service Award from the Christian Environmental Association in September 1995. Larry is married and is blessed with three daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandsons.
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