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Lawmakers, scientists ask president not to rollback emissions standards

Scientists and Utah lawmakers are demanding President Trump keep the current vehicle fuel efficiency standards he may roll back. Photo: Kelli Pierce

SALT LAKE CITY — A bipartisan group of Utah lawmakers joined scientists at the Utah State Capitol to urge President Trump to keep current federal vehicle emissions standards.

Environmental Protection Agency rules require all new cars and trucks sold in the United States to get 54.5 miles to the gallon by 2025.

Some car companies and consumer groups have opposed the mandates. They argue it will make cars too expensive or less safe, as manufacturers are forced to use lighter or more costly materials.

But 50% of the state’s air pollution comes from cars and truck fleets, and that worried participants at today’s event like Tammie Bostick with Utah Clean Cities.

“It’s so important that we have low emissions at the tailpipe. Without that, our air quality asĀ our economy grows, as our population grows, it’s just going to be a multiplier effect,” Bostick says.

Others, like Layton Republican Representative Steve Handy, think the federal government is overstepping its authority by telling Utah what to do.

“We get that air moves around. But we are emitting our own air pollution here in the state of Utah. Don’t take away our authority to regulate ourselves,” Handy says.

It’s unclear how far car emissions standards could be rolled back.