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Published on August 15th, 2018 | by Steve Hanley

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EPA Staff Claim Fuel Economy Rollback Based On Junk Science

August 15th, 2018 by  


For decades, the mass murderers in the fossil fuel industry have been pumping the atmosphere full of pollution that promotes climate change and ruins human health while claiming all the evidence of their wrongdoing is just “junk science.” They would have you believe all this climate change nonsense is cooked up by feckless researchers trying to enhance their positions by spouting scary scenarios with no basis in fact. Under the Ignoramus in Chief, stooges of the fossil fuel crowd are now in full control of the US government, especially at the EPA where acting administrator Andrew Wheeler is a lifelong apologist for the coal industry.

fuel economy standardsRecently, Wheeler, in collaboration with Elaine Chao who heads the Transportation Department, has announced his agency will refuse to enforce the fuel economy standards put in place by the Obama administration that would have required manufactures to have a CAFE rating of around 54 miles per gallon by 2025. In addition, Wheeler intends to strip California and 16 other states of their ability to establish higher fuel economy and emissions standards.

Before we go any further, you should be aware that Chao is married to the hateful Mitch McConnell, a man who has dedicated his life to doing the bidding of the coal industry and ignoring the best interests of his constituents. If politics is populated by prostitutes, McConnell and Chao are candidates for the “My Ethics Are More Malleable Than Yours” lifetime achievement award.

Wheeler has made a great show of claiming his policy will save American lives. His tortured logic goes something like this. A.) New cars are safer than older cars. B.) Tougher fuel economy standards raise the price of new cars. C.) Lower fuel economy standards will lower the cost of new automobiles. D.) Therefore, lower standards will mean more people will be driving newer, safer cars which will decrease motor vehicle fatalities. In some circles, this is known as a reductio ad absurdum.

Any second grader could poke that theory full of holes, but when the ideological lunatics Trump has put in positions of authority get an idea in their heads, they will use all the tortured logic they can find to justify their actions. It gets embarrassing, though, when the EPA’s own experts claim the new policy initiative is based on flawed assumptions. The Los  Angeles Times reports new emails released recently by the agency’s top scientists say the new policy will cause more highway deaths rather than less. They warned the agency in June the new rules would actually be “detrimental to safety, rather than beneficial.”

Bill Charmley, the director of assessment and standards at the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, says he warned against saying higher fuel efficiency standards would drive up the price of cars so much that consumers would be forced to keep driving older vehicles with lower safety ratings. In fact, Charmley and his team chided administrators for using data provided by the Transportation Department that mysteriously added millions more outdated vehicles to the nation’s roads. Talk about your junk science.

In other words, Chao ordered her department to cook the books in order to support the political objectives of the Trump maladministration. Those objectives apparently include boosting the profits of fossil fuel companies at the expense of the longevity and health of American citizens. And yet, millions of people still support this outrage because, you know, Hillary’s emails.

Senator Thomas Carper of Delaware is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He has issued a statement saying, “As if it isn’t bad enough that the Trump administration’s proposal deals a major blow to American consumers, automakers and equipment manufacturers, and the environment, today we obtained even more evidence that it’s based on bogus science and fundamentally flawed assumptions.

“The administration’s own EPA itemized its technical concerns about the plan’s baseless claims, but [the Department of Transportation] and the White House seem to have willfully ignored much of it and chose instead to release a deeply flawed proposed rule that almost certainly will be struck down in court. The facts might be inconvenient for the Trump administration, but this White House cannot simply dismiss the clear science, especially against the advice of its own experts.”

The EPA is paddling furiously to defend itself. “These emails are but a fraction of the robust dialogue that occurred during interagency deliberations for the proposed rule,” said John Konkus, an EPA spokesman, in an email to the LA Times. The proposed change in policy is now in a 60-day window during which the public will get a chance to comment on the proposed rules before they become final. When Konkus speaks of a “robust dialogue,” he means senior officials dictated the outcome they wanted then ordered their underlings to come up with ways to justify it.

California and 16 other states have already brought suit in federal court to stop this insanity. Meanwhile, the automakers have refused to saying anything substantive about the new rules. They apparently are hoping the politicians will somehow sort this out without them having to take an official stand. The Times suggests the recently released e-mails will make it much harder for the administration to defend its position in court.

With any luck, the situation will be decide by the US Supreme Court with new justice Brett Kavanaugh (not to be confused with Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner) casting the deciding vote in favor of fossil fuel companies. At the rate these things progress through the courts, this topic could still be an issue in the presidential campaign of 2028. Sleep tight, America. Things are great and getting greater all the time. 
 





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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. His motto is, "Life is not measured by how many breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away!" You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.



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