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Michigan legislators, environmentalists urge EPA to adopt strong clean car standards for 2027-2035

 An electric vehicle charging station
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An electric vehicle charging station

A coalition of Democratic state lawmakers and environmental groups is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to make the next round of clean car standards as strong as possible.

The standards will apply to cars built in the years 2027 to 2035.

Margrethe Kearney is with the Environmental Law and Policy Center.

"The transportation sector is one of the largest sources of carbon pollution in Michigan," she said, "and we're already seeing the impacts of climate change — from increased and more sporadic precipitation, more extreme weather events, to warming lakes with increased risks of hazardous algae blooms."

The EPA's most recent clean car standards essentially restored the Obama-era rules for cars through the 2026 model years, standards that had been gutted by the Trump administration.

Kearney says it's important that the next standards go much further in order to hasten the development and adoption of electric vehicles, and dramatically reduce the pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from cars with internal combustion engines.

"The fact is that these rules work," Kearney said. "They create targets for automakers to meet, and that spurs all sorts of creative and smart people to action, designing and building new and exciting technologies that get us where we need to go while protecting the people and the places that we love."

Coalition members are asking Michigan's congressional delegation in D.C. to use their influence with the EPA as it drafts the clean car standards.

Copyright 2022 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.