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PNS Weekend Newscast - September 23rd, 2017 


Here's a look at what we're covering: Senator John McCain says no to the GOP's health care plan, a new survey takes a look at how residents in one state feel about the effort to real Obamacare, and International Day of Peace is being celebrated this weekend.

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Federal Officials Consider Reversing Course on Fuel Standards

Current standards require cars and light trucks to average about 50 miles per gallon by 2025. (Michael Sheehan/Flickr)
Current standards require cars and light trucks to average about 50 miles per gallon by 2025. (Michael Sheehan/Flickr)
September 7, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Attempts to reverse the course on vehicle fuel efficiency standards are drawing strong opposition.

Health, consumer, science and environmental groups were among those present at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing Wednesday to review Obama-era fuel standards requiring cars and light trucks to average about 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

Director of the Ceres Transportation Program Carol Lee Rawn was at the hearing, and said the standards are driving innovation and keeping the U.S. auto industry globally competitive. She noted there are significant economic benefits for the automotive industry, particularly suppliers.

"Suppliers employ 2 1/2 times more Americans than the automakers and they stand to see $90 billion in increased sales if the current standards are preserved,” Rawn said.

Ohio's automotive supplier network had an estimated $30 billion impact on the economy in 2014, and employed more than 136,000 workers.

Critics of clean car standards say they place a cost burden on auto manufacturers, but a review completed in 2016 estimated those costs were overstated by as much as 40 percent. The EPA is taking comments on the review until October 5. 300,000 comments have been submitted in support of the existing standards.

David Cooke, senior vehicle analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, also was at the hearing and said the current standards are saving drivers about $50 million a day - a number that will grow to more than $300 million a day by 2030 if the standards are maintained.

"Reducing the emissions from the average vehicle saves money from reduced fuel costs for drivers whether they buy new or used as the new vehicles make their way onto the market,” Cooke said. "And so Americans benefit tremendously in their pocketbooks."

Besides saving drivers money, Cooke added, the standards are protecting public health and the climate from dangerous pollution. He said the transportation sector produces nearly 30 percent of all U.S. global warming emissions.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH