ANN ARBOR, MI – On Monday, Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan joined American Federation of Government Employees Local 3907 President Mark Coryell to speak out against proposed cuts to the EPA National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL) in Ann Arbor. Dingell visited and toured the NVFEL facility, which could lose 435 jobs if the Administration’s budget is enacted.
The visit allowed the Congresswoman to see the live-saving work done at the NVFEL facility, and to meet the dedicated men and women who work there. Rep. Dingell wrote President Trump last month about her concerns over the proposed cuts, and Monday’s visit only reinforced her firm belief that the President should “reconsider this misguided idea in any final budget proposal,” submitted to Congress.
“The Administration’s proposed cuts to EPA’s fuel economy and vehicle emissions budget is short-sighted and would create uncertainty, cost jobs and potentially destroy our country’s competitive edge in this important field,” said Dingell. “The more than 400 employees at the Ann Arbor lab do critical work every day to reduce vehicle emissions and ensure that the U.S. remains at the forefront of innovation. We can’t afford to lose these jobs, and we also can’t afford to halt the government’s work on creating more fuel-efficient vehicles and lowering overall emissions, which benefit consumers, the auto industry and the environment. This vital work must go forward, which is why I will continue to work with my colleagues, the union, and all stakeholders to stop these misguided cuts.”
The EPA has faced intense scrutiny since the release of the proposed 2018 budget by the Administration which called for the budget to be slashed by 31.4 percent, or $2.6 billion. The massive decrease will force the EPA to cut staff by 21.3 percent – 3,200 total jobs. AFGE, which represents more than 9,000 EPA employees nationwide, has firmly opposed the proposed budget, and has called on Congress to protect community health for years to come.
“The EPA is an apolitical agency whose mission is to save lives and ensure future generations have clean air to breathe and safe water to drink,” said AFGE Local 3907 President Mark Coryell. “We believe that our work protects community health, spurs economic growth, and is imperative to future generations of Americans. The budget put forth by the Administration threatens the very work we do, and could have dire consequences on generations to come if something isn’t done about it.
“Thank you to Rep. Dingell for taking the time out of her busy schedule to help raise awareness of what cuts to our agency mean for our country,” added Coryell. “We need members of Congress nationwide to see how vital our work is, and to fight back against the proposals that will threaten our very existence.”