Southern Maine’s air quality is among the worst in the country. Unfortunately, York and Cumberland Counties received grades of “F” and “D” on the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report for high ozone days. Breathing ground-level ozone is unhealthy for us all. Outdoor enthusiasts and parents of student athletes should be especially concerned. Asthma sufferers, like my mom, face serious danger.

Carbon pollution, by accelerating climate change, also jeopardizes the health and welfare of current and future generations. A major cause of both carbon pollution and ground-level ozone is transportation. Nonetheless, the Trump administration and EPA are leading the charge to reverse our improving fuel efficiency standards and block our chance at reducing hazardous pollution. Our current standards, set in 2012, are on track to cut car and truck emissions in half by 2025. Not only will this benefit our health, but consumers will save billions of dollars in fuel costs. Long-term prospects for American jobs also depend on our auto industry’s ability to compete with global competitors on fuel efficiency.

Rolling back fuel efficiency and clean car standards will increase climate-changing carbon pollution and trigger negative public health impacts such as asthma attacks and heart attacks. The Trump administration shouldn’t rig the system for short-term auto industry profits at the expense of our health and future welfare.

I urge Maine’s Congressional delegation to fight against Trump’s clean car rollbacks and show increased leadership in taking action on climate change and improving air quality for the one in nine Mainers who suffer from asthma.

Nancy Artz, Ph.D.