HEARING HELD BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) AND NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION
September 25, 2018 The Dearborn Inn, Dearborn Mi
By Frank Hammer.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify. My name is Frank Hammer and I am here today as a retired GM employee of 32 years, and proud member and former President of UAW Local 909 at GM Powertrain in Warren, Michigan. This is my second time testifying before the two federal agencies holding this hearing. I spoke in January 2012, urging support for what was then the new CAFÉ standard, which is now under attack.
I urge you to keep the established carbon pollution standards for cars and light-duty trucks through 2025 and oppose freezing standards at the 2020 level.
These standards will continue to promote innovation in the US auto industry, ensuring it remains competitive in the global marketplace. They were subject to rigorous technical review well before I last testified. GM along with the other car companies agreed then that they had the required technology – Why now the reversal? This was a settled issue.
Last June, delegates attending the UAW’s national convention endorsed a resolution titled “Protecting the Environment.” I quote from it as follows:
“Climate change is real. The need to do something about it is urgent. The horrific impacts of climate change are all around us, as once-rare natural disasters occur with increasing frequency. We also see natural treasures like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia decimated by warmer water and polar ice caps melting at an alarming rate. We have an obligation to ensure that future generations inherit a safe and habitable environment.
“The current standards provided regulatory certainty to the automakers and were coupled with loans and grants for the manufacturers to invest in advanced vehicle technologies. As a result, today thousands of UAW members are making the vehicles of the future.
“We must acknowledge that climate change is real, work together and not allow special interests and far right ideologies to stand in the way. Sadly, today’s Republicans are the only major political party in the developed world that denies that this grave threat to humanity is real.
“As part of the Republican denial of climate change, the Trump administration has advanced a radical environmental and energy agenda that serves the interests of big business [especially the fossil fuel industry]. The administration continues to deny that human activity impacts climate change, despite the scientific consensus and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
“We must be vocal about the threat of climate change because UAW members have experienced devastation in their own Communities.”
I support strong standards because they are working. I urge you to keep these standards to ensure the greatest reductions in oil use and global warming emissions. If the mandate is to establish one national set of CAFÉ standards, then I vote for following California’s leadership. Thank you for the opportunity to testify.”
Frank Hammer is a member of the Real News Network Board of Directors, and has been a social justice activist for nearly 50 years. He spent the last 40 years in the labor movement as an autoworker and a member, elected officer, staff representative, and now retiree of the United Auto Workers. Frank was the former president of the Greenacres Woodward Civic Association in Detroit, and he currently represents the association as a member of the Michigan State Fairgrounds Advisory Committee. He is a lecturer in the Labor Studies Programs at Wayne State and Indiana Universities. He’s a board member of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, an activist with South East Michigan Jobs with Justice, the School of the Americas Watch (SOAW-UAW), and the Autoworker Caravan.