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Friday, January 21, 2022

EPA announces strictest auto pollution rules ever

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced tightening pollution limits from automobile tailpipes to reduce a major source of carbon dioxide emissions warming the planet.

The more stringent rules – the most important climate action ever taken by the Biden administration and the highest ever for fuel economy – would require passenger vehicles to travel an average of 55 miles per gallon of gasoline by 2026, up from just 38 miles per gallon. less than an hour. gallon today.

According to the EPA, this would prevent the release of 3.1 billion tons of climate-warming carbon dioxide by 2050, saving nearly 360 billion gallons of gasoline from burning, leading to an annual 15 percent annual reduction in the nation’s gasoline consumption by 2050. And motorists will save about $1,080 in fuel costs over the lifetime of the more efficient vehicles, the agency estimates.

Executive action and rules like the new tailpipe rule are expected to lean heavily from the Biden administration after the centerpiece of the president’s climate agenda, far-reaching legislation that would transform the energy and transportation sectors, essentially repealed by Senator Joe Manchin on Sunday. Was. III, the West Virginia Democrat who holds the swing vote in an evenly divided Senate.

The tailpipe rule, which will take effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register and apply from model years 2023 to 2026, is a retraction of rules enacted by the Obama administration in 2012 that required passenger vehicles to be sold by automakers. Is required. Achieve an average of about 51 miles per gallon by 2025. President Donald J. Trump weakened the standard in 2020 to about 44 miles per gallon by 2026.

“We followed the science, we listened to stakeholders, and 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, Michael S. Regan, EPA Administrator, said in a statement.

Transportation is the largest single source of greenhouse gases generated by the United States, representing 29 percent of the country’s total emissions.

A recent report by the International Energy Agency found that countries would have to phase out sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035 to prevent average global temperatures rising by 1.5 Celsius compared to levels during the Industrial Revolution. This is the limit beyond which scientists say the Earth is facing irreversible damage. The planet has already warmed an average of 1.1 °C since the late 1800s.

Climate experts said the new tailpipe rule is the first step in Mr Biden’s push to move US drivers to increasingly zero-emissions electric vehicles from cars and trucks powered by internal combustion engines of the last century.

The new Biden rule is “basically reclaiming the emissions cuts we lost during the Trump rollback,” said Jeff Alson, a former senior EPA engineer and policy adviser who worked on Obama auto emissions standards. “That’s good, but it’s not getting us anywhere near the level we can achieve to reduce vehicle emissions enough to protect the planet.”

Nearly $26 billion in tax incentives to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles is stuck on Capitol Hill, part of a larger $2.2 trillion bill known as the Build Back Better Act, which Mr. Manchin has to face opposition. The bill’s provisions include a $7,500 tax credit for buyers of electric vehicles, as well as an additional $4,500 incentive if the vehicles are assembled by union workers.

Mr Biden has set a target for electric vehicles to make up 50 percent of all new car sales by 2030 in a bid to reduce planet-heating emissions and slow climate change. But electric cars are on track for a total of 4 percent of US sales in 2021, an indication of the scale of the challenge Biden is facing.

A significant move was made last month, when Congress passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that includes $7.5 billion to build nearly 500,000 electric charging stations nationwide and help strengthen the supply chains needed to produce electric vehicles. for $7.5 billion. This month, Mr Biden signed an executive order requiring the federal government to purchase only zero-emissions cars and trucks by 2035.

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But more is needed to reach Mr Biden’s goal, climate advocates say.

Dan Baker, director of the Safe Climate Transport campaign at the Center for Biological Diversity, said: “The short-term rule that the president is now announcing is not up to the challenge he himself named, that global warming is a potential threat. ” , “What we really need is an aggressive regulation as soon as possible to eliminate the gasoline-powered vehicles that are choking and polluting and replace them with EVs that have no tailpipes.”

So EPA officials are working on a future regulation for vehicles in model year 2027 and beyond, which would force automakers to increase sales of electric vehicles. They say they hope to publish a draft in 2022 and complete it before the end of Mr Biden’s term.

Since tailpipe emissions regulations pertain to the average mileage per gallon of all vehicles sold by a carmaker, the stringent standards have been introduced to allow auto companies to sell more electric cars to offset sales of traditional pickup trucks, sports utility vehicles, and other models. is designed to force. Mileage. The Ford F-150, for example, is the most popular vehicle in the country and only gets 20 miles per gallon.

Some major automakers have publicly pledged to invest in electric vehicles. GM has said it will go completely electric by 2035. Ford has announced a $30 billion investment in electrification, saying it intends to sell electric vehicles only in key markets such as the US, China and Europe no later than 2035, and globally by 2040. Ford has built an electric version of the F-150; Dealers will start taking orders from January.

Also, automakers have said they need help from the government to ensure that consumers can buy and charge their cars.

John Bozzella, president of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, said, “The EPA’s final rule for greenhouse gas emissions is even more aggressive than originally proposed, requiring a substantial increase in sales of electric vehicles, which is the case today. over 4 percent of all light-duty sales. A lobbying group representing the world’s largest auto companies. “Achieving the goals of this final rule will undoubtedly require implementing supportive government policies – including consumer incentives, adequate infrastructure development, fleet requirements, and support for US manufacturing and supply chain development.”

General Motors issued a statement on Monday saying it “supports the final rule target and its intention to reduce emissions,” but is still reviewing the details. “We appreciate the EPA’s efforts to strengthen greenhouse gas emissions standards and create a coherent national plan,” Ford said. And the company formed after the merger of Stelantis, Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot called the new rule “offensive” and said it underscores the need for the government to support the transition to zero-emissions vehicles.

Meanwhile, most Republicans oppose the new tailpipe rules. “Biden’s inflation and energy crisis are hurting families and creating record-high costs,” House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking Republican Kathy McMorris Rodgers wrote on Twitter on Monday. “Instead of helping families, he’s putting radical environmentalists first with strict rules that dictate the cars we buy and drive.”

Autoworkers have expressed concern over the electric transition because the production of an electric vehicle requires about a third less human labor than a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. Mr Biden has tried to win them over with policies like proposed tax credits that would reward buyers for buying union-built electric vehicles.

On Monday, Ray Curry, the president of United Auto Workers, called the standards “well thought out,” adding that “history has demonstrated that strong standards, based on input from stakeholders that include American workers at the table, for There could be an opportunity for job retention, both job creation and environmental protection.

Lisa Friedman contributed to this report.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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