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Michelle Robinson

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About the author: Michelle Robinson has more than 25 years of experience in public policy and advocacy. She joined the Clean Vehicles program in 1992 and is a nationally recognized expert on state and federal transportation policy. See Michelle's full bio.

White House Calls For Trucks That Do More With Less Oil

I spent the morning surrounded by trucks and I wasn’t cruising down the highway. I had the honor of attending the White House announcement kicking off the next round of fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for medium and heavy duty trucks, covering vehicles from delivery trucks to school buses to long-haul big rigs.

We depend on these vehicles to take our kids to school, get the goods we order online, and collect our trash. But they also have a big impact when it comes to oil use: heavy-duty vehicles collectively make up 7 percent of traffic on American roads, but account for over 25 percent of the fuel used to travel them. Trucks may be relatively small in number, but large in impact, and there is more we can do to increase their efficiency and reduce the pollution they create. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Dear EPA: Four Very Personal Reasons Why Clean Cars Matter

I work with very smart people, engineers and scientists who understand the emissions benefits of cutting pollution from our tailpipes and gasoline, and the technology necessary to get there. Our work helped enact the last round of standards to cut tailpipe pollution in the late ‘90s and has been influential in the development of a new round of requirements, referred to as Tier 3. These standards are set to be finalized early in 2014. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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A Solution to Cancer-Causing Air Pollution… and What You Can Do to Help

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled air pollution a human carcinogen, in the same category as tobacco and asbestos, and deemed it the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. While it wasn’t widely covered in the media, this finding — that air pollution causes cancer — is enormously relevant for the United States, particularly as the administration considers new regulations on vehicle pollution. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Can I Interest You in a Used Car? DOE/EPA Release New Fuel Economy Tool For Used Cars

If you’ve been following auto industry news of late, you already know that new car sales in the U.S. are hitting heights they haven’t seen in years. This is certainly good news for the auto companies and auto dealers – but it’s also good news for consumers, as more efficient vehicle choices roll into showrooms thanks to the ramping up of fuel economy standards over the last several years.

New car buyers not only have more choices, but also have better information on which to base their new car purchase decisions, thanks to improved fuel economy labels developed by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011. So where does that leave someone looking to purchase a used car? Out of luck, when it comes to good information on how far that vehicle can go on a gallon of gas and what that might mean in terms of global warming emissions. That is, until yesterday. Read More

Categories: Fossil Fuels, Vehicles  

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Smog, Soot, and Sulfur, Oh My!

With all the focus on DC dysfunction these days, it’s nice to celebrate something good happening in Washington that will help us all breathe a little easier. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its new tailpipe and fuel standards today, a critical step aimed at improving air quality and public health. Read More

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From the Pump to Profits: Where Your Gas Money Goes

Newsflash – Americans spend a lot on gasoline. In fact, over the lifetime of an average vehicle, you spend around $22,000 on gasoline. That might be as much as you spent on the vehicle in the first place. So where does all this money end up? Read More

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Rep. Lee Terry Fuel Economy Ad: Historic Fiction

It recently came to our attention that Representative Lee Terry from Nebraska is running a campaign ad citing the Union of Concerned Scientists and analysis we did some years ago and claiming that he authored the “historic” fuel economy legislation that passed Congress in 2007. I’ve got two words to describe this new ad: “historic fiction.” Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Cars and Mars

Ever have a dream and wake up to find out that it wasn’t a dream after all – that you were actually living the dream?  I think that must be how many of the NASA engineers felt when the rover Curiosity landed on Mars earlier this month, but such dreams aren’t confined to outer space exploration. Right here on the Blue Planet, dreams really can come true…even in Washington, DC, during the so-called “silly season” that is an election year. Read More

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A Good Week for Clean Cars – Unless You Are in the House of Representatives

This week provided 4 important reminders of why we need standards that require the auto industry to build cleaner, more fuel efficient cars and trucks and the benefits these standards will bring for our health, economy and environment. Read More

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DEJA-vu: Another Oil-Backed Attack on Public Health

In less than 36 hours, Congress will once again be voting on your health.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives will consider HR 4480 – Domestic Energy and Jobs Act – or DEJA. It’s aptly named, because as Yogi Berra would say, it certainly feels like “deja-vu all over again” – with fossil fuel lobbyists and their Congressional allies once again attempting to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency by  using false claims about the impacts that future standards could have on gas prices. Read More

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