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Clean car standards good for public health, drivers’ wallets

As gas prices continue to rise and vehicles become an increasingly significant source of carbon pollution, America’s clean car standards have never been more important.

However, the Trump administration has moved to roll back these important standards, which require automakers to gradually make vehicles more fuel efficient, saving drivers money at the pump. Rolling back these important clean air protections is a major step backward for the health of Michigan families and their economic well-being.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the transportation sector has outpaced electricity generation as the largest source of carbon pollution, accounting for more than 28 percent of U.S. carbon pollution in 2016. The clean car standards reduce dangerous tailpipe pollution from vehicles, protecting the health of Michigan families, children and seniors while slowing the effects of climate change.

Clean car standards also help Michigan families save money at the pump with more fuel-efficient vehicles that go farther on each tank of gas. At a time when gas prices have reached their highest levels since 2014, automakers need to continue innovating and producing cars that are more fuel-efficient. The clean car standards have successfully encouraged this kind of innovation for years; we shouldn’t stop now.

As the auto capital of the world, Michigan should lead the way toward a cleaner, more fuel-efficient transportation sector. We are already making great strides toward vehicle electrification and clean mobility, but a unilateral rollback of the clean car standards at the federal level could threaten this progress. T

Joyce Stein

Board member of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.

Inspiration Awaits at Detroit River National Wildlife Refuge

The great outdoors is widely considered the ultimate classroom, and nowhere does knowledge flow like Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. Located just south of the Motor City, Detroit River is North America’s only international wildlife refuge.

As a summer intern with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), my job is to help the refuge’s urban neighbors discover the wonders of our islands, shoals, and shorelines, which are jointly managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

In collaboration with Detroit Outdoors, we’re also bringing children down to Scout Hollow – Detroit’s only campground. Scout Hollow reopened this summer after being idle for nearly 20 years. We are striving to show local families that they don’t necessarily have to travel far to have a great camping experience. Connecting with nature at a young age yields numerous physical and emotional benefits while also encouraging lifelong stewardship.

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge’s location in the heart of a major metropolitan area is truly unique. Our primary focus, of course, is to provide a safe haven for wildlife but we also want to connect with the people in our community. Ironically, nature is so beautiful that we often overlook it. It is always there, living symbiotically among us, so it is easy to take it for granted or, worse, to unknowingly harm it. Recognizing nature’s role as a provider of resources and a place to escape from the pace of city life is essential if we are to protect sanctuaries like Detroit River for generations to come.

To share my passion for the outdoors, to work with youth and other individuals who live nearby, to introduce them to the beautiful spaces in their hometown is priceless. Come see our wildlife, walk our trails, or simply read a book under a tree. The connections you make – and the lessons you learn – with last a lifetime.

Rachel Felder

 Student Conservation Association Intern

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