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Environmental groups praise Biden for proposing 'strongest ever' auto pollution standards

The EPA projects that carbon emissions would be reduced by 10 billion tons if the proposal is enacted.

By Oliver Willis - April 18, 2023
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President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Washington.
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Washington. The Biden administration will propose new automobile pollution limits this week that would require at least 54% of new vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric by 2030, ramping up quickly to as high as 67% by 2032. That's according to three people briefed on the plan. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Environmental groups praised the Environmental Protection Agency on April 12 after it announced new vehicle emission standards designed to accelerate the automobile industry’s transition to clean energy.

The proposed standards would limit tailpipe emissions in cars produced beginning in 2027.

In its announcement, the agency said:

EPA’s proposal considers a broad suite of available emission control technologies, and the standards are designed to allow manufacturers to meet the performance-based standards however works best for their vehicle fleets. EPA projects that for the industry as a whole, the standards are expected to drive widespread use of filters to reduce gasoline particulate matter emissions and spur greater deployment of CO2-reducing technologies for gasoline-powered vehicles.

The proposed standards are also projected to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. Depending on the compliance pathways manufacturers select to meet the standards, EPA projects that EVs could account for 67% of new light-duty vehicle sales and 46% of new medium-duty vehicle sales in MY 2032.

The agency projects the standards would prevent 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions through 2055, along with a reduction in imported oil of 20 billion barrels.

The EPA also projected that the average consumer would save $12,000 over the lifetime of ownership of a vehicle with the new standards, compared to cars and trucks purchased using current technologies.

“By proposing the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, we are delivering on the Biden-Harris Administration’s promise to protect people and the planet, securing critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution and ensuring significant economic benefits like lower fuel and maintenance costs for families,” EPA administrator Michael Regan said in the agency’s announcement.

The proposals have been entered in the Federal Register, where they will be subject to public review and comment before they can be implemented as federal regulations.

Environmental groups expressed support for the Biden administration’s actions.

Fred Krupp, president of the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement, “The tailpipe pollution limits proposed today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – both for new passenger cars and trucks, and for new urban delivery and freight trucks and buses – will give all Americans cleaner air and a safer climate, while also creating jobs and saving people money.”

“EPA has launched us on a critically important journey to a clean transportation future,” he added.

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s president and CEO Manish Bapna said in a press release: “These EPA standards are a key piece of the puzzle to curb our country’s single largest source of carbon pollution and provide cleaner air and a safer climate for all. … This action builds upon the Biden administration’s bold commitment to deliver clean air and a safer climate for everyone.”

The Biden administration has implemented policies and legislation designed to encourage the adoption of clean energy technology to cut carbon emissions and lessen the effects of global climate change.

According to an August 2022 report by the nonpartisan group RMI, the U.S. is projected to spend $514 billion on climate technology and other clean energy over the next 10 years, the most in U.S. history. Those funds come from the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act.

Republicans have not supported efforts to transition to cleaner energy sources.

In response to news reports ahead of the EPA’s announcement, the press office of Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) tweeted on April 10: “Biden’s radical EPA is trying to regulate your car’s engine into OBLIVION. Enough energy fantasies. @HouseGOP MUST use the power of the purse to END the weaponization of the federal bureaucracy. Slashing EPA’s funding should be at the top of the list.”

Roy’s press office highlighted a March 23 letter sent by Roy and fellow Republican Reps. Scott Perry (PA), Jeff Duncan (SC), Bob Good (VA), Michael Cloud (TX) and Barry Moore (AL) to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee calling for cuts to the EPA, which it called an example of a “the federal bureaucracy that is weaponized against American freedom and economic growth.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), chair of the House Republican Conference, tweeted, “I am committed to fighting these radical policies for #NY21 and our rural communities.”

“Backwards Biden strikes again!” wrote Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL). “The EPA’s latest policy proposal pushes the U.S. toward a majority of EV sales by 2032. With #Bidenflation at an all-time high and most Americans struggling to put food on the table, it only makes sense for this administration to push nonsense.”

The Republican-led House on March 30 passed the Lower Energy Costs Act, which would promote oil and gas drilling while cutting back on environmental regulations. The oil industry backed the bill, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called it a “wish list for Big Oil.” Schumer said the Democratic-led Senate will not consider the bill and declared it “dead on arrival.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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