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Congress Investigates How Marathon Petroleum and Koch Network Influenced Clean Cars Rollbacks

On Thursday, May 28, several Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, along with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), sent a letter to Marathon Petroleum seeking information on the oil company’s involvement in the Trump administration’s rollback of clean car standards. The Congressmembers are also investigating Marathon’s coordination with, and financial ties to, various free-market groups and whether those relationships are compatible with the groups’ tax-exempt status.

The letter follows an October 29, 2019 House Oversight Environment Subcommittee hearing on oil industry influence in the vehicle fuel economy rollback, and comes one day after 23 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit challenging the rollback.

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Report: Nearly Half of Americans Breathing Unhealthy Air

As the death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise in the U.S. — and as initial studies suggest that long-term exposure to air pollution may lead to higher death rates from the disease — a new report finds that nearly five in 10 Americans are breathing polluted air.

According to the American Lung Association’s (ALA) latest State of Air Report released April 21, 150 million Americans — almost half the population — are living in areas with unhealthy air. The findings challenge clean air claims by the Trump administration and fossil fuel allies. The report also describes how the current administration’s environmental rollbacks threaten the nation’s air quality and public health.

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Amid Historic Oil Collapse, an Opportunity to Accelerate Clean Transportation

Petroleum products continue to fuel most of our vehicles while fouling our air, leaving some people more vulnerable to suffering severe impacts from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. Transportation is also the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and studies show that powering our cars, trucks, and buses with electricity would reduce climate pollution.

With the oil industry suffering what is probably its worst year in history, and the window of time for tackling the climate crisis narrowing, could this be the best and last chance the world has to push the accelerator on electrifying transportation?

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Yet Another Study Confirms: Electric Cars Reduce Climate Pollution

Electric cars are better for the climate than gas-powered vehicles in nearly every part of the world. That’s the clear, unequivocal finding of the first study that conducted a global examination of the current and future greenhouse gas emissions of electric vehicles (EVs) and gas-powered cars. This study directly refutes myths perpetuated by climate science deniers and EV antagonists, who claim that EVs are really not all that green.

The team of European researchers behind the new study build on recent similar findings by the research group Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Each of these studies have taken a worldwide look at the life cycle emissions from EVs that are charged by a variety of forms of electricity generation, from the cleanest to the dirtiest of grids. The new study again dispels the myth that electric cars are more polluting than gas-powered cars because they are charged by coal-fired electricity.

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