The Star-Herald

Collins, consistency, and climate change

To the editor:

In the fall, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins announced on the Senate floor that ignoring climate change is ‘simply not an option,’ but the United States is currently facing potential cut-backs from the Environmental Protection Agency on our Clean Car Standards. The best action we can take to combat climate change is to limit greenhouse gases from the main source, our transportation industry. Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, released from fuel-burning cars trap hot air close to the earth’s surface which makes the world warmer, lowers air quality, and causes extreme weather events.

The Clean Car Standards were adopted in 2012 to set new federal standards on the emission and fuel efficiency of cars in the United States; this benefits both the environment and consumers. Cars would get more miles per gallon, so it would be cheaper for drivers to use their vehicles, and there would be less harmful greenhouse gases entering our atmosphere. The Clean Car Standards are the most proactive and economically efficient way to combat climate change from Washington, D.C., and compromising these regulations sets a poor precedent for how we as a country handle environmental issues in the future.

If ignoring climate change isn’t an option for Americans according to Sen. Collins, then ignoring changes in these critical standards isn’t an option for Americans as well. We as citizens need to urge our federal and state elected officials to stand up for what is right and not only act to create more laws fighting the degradation of our environment, but protect the laws that are already in place to ensure a cleaner and safer America for generations to come.

Madeleine Fenderson

Environment Maine

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