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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Biden raises mileage standards to fight climate change

by Matthew Daly | The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — In a major move to fight climate change, the Biden administration is raising vehicle mileage standards to reduce emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases, reversing a Trump-era rollback that loosened fuel efficiency standards. Gave.

A final rule released Monday will raise mileage standards starting in the 2023 model year, reaching a projected industry-wide target of 40 miles per gallon by 2026. The new standard is 25% higher than the rule finalized by the Trump administration last year and 5% higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal in August.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said, “We are setting strong and rigorous standards that will aggressively reduce the pollution harming people and our planet – and at the same time save families money.” He called the rule “a giant step forward” in meeting President Joe Biden’s climate agenda, “paving the way toward an all-electric, zero-emissions transportation future.”

The move comes a day after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin delivered a potentially fatal blow to Biden’s $2 trillion social and environmental policy bill, jeopardizing the agenda of Democrats and angering the White House. Is. The West Virginia senator said he could not support the comprehensive bill, which includes several climate proposals, saying it was too costly and could drive inflation and expand the growing federal debt.

The now-held bill includes a $7,500 tax credit to buyers to reduce the cost of electric vehicles.

The administration will continue to “fight tirelessly” for EV tax credits and other incentives in the so-called Build Back Better Bill, Regan said, but even without them, “we believe we’ve proposed a rule that’s possible, it’s affordable, It is achievable and we are excited about it.”

The new mileage rules are the most ambitious tailpipe pollution standards ever set for passenger cars and light trucks. The standards increase mileage targets set by the Trump administration that will only achieve 32 miles per gallon in 2026. Biden set a target of 38 miles per gallon in August.

The standards will help expand the market share of zero-emission vehicles, the administration said, with the goal of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles reaching 17% of new vehicles sold in 2026. EVs and plug-in hybrids are expected to have around 7% market share in 2023.

The EPA said the rule would not only slow climate change, but also improve public health by reducing air pollution and lower costs for drivers through improved fuel efficiency.

Biden aims to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by at least half by 2030 as he advances a history-making transition from internal combustion engines to battery-powered vehicles in the US.

He has urged that the components needed for that sweeping change – from batteries to semiconductors – should also be made in the United States, in order to support both industry and union for environmental efforts, creating new jobs and billions in federal electric vehicles. With the promise of Investment.

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The administration said that while ambitious, the new standards give auto makers ample time to comply at a reasonable cost. The EPA’s analysis suggests the industry could comply with the final standards with a modest increase in the number of electric vehicles entering the fleet.

Environmental and public health groups mostly applauded the new rules, while trade unions representing most major automakers reacted cautiously.

Automakers are “committed to achieving a cleaner, safer and better future,” but the EPA’s final rule for greenhouse gas emissions is more aggressive than originally proposed, “requiring a substantial increase in electric vehicle sales, Up 4% of all light-duty sales today, said John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. produce

“Achieving the goals of this final rule will undoubtedly require implementing supportive government policies – including consumer incentives … and support for US manufacturing and supply chain development,” Bozzella said in a statement.

“We can all take a collective sigh of relief now that a strong federal clean car rule has been reinstated,” said Morgan Folger of Environment America, an advocacy group.

Despite the pushback from the auto industry, the rule would significantly reduce air and climate pollution, Folger said. He called the announcement “a victory” on climate that will help create “an onramp for a future with zero emissions from our cars and trucks.”

The EPA’s action is “an important step that will reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution and improve lung health,” said Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association.


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