EPA Announces ‘Strongest-Ever Pollution Standards’ for Cars & Light-Duty Trucks

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In a historic move, the Biden administration has announced new tailpipe emissions regulations, which call for a 56% reduction in the average carbon dioxide emissions of passenger cars, medium-duty vehicles and light-duty trucks by 2032.

The new rules will apply to vehicles with model years from 2027 to 2032 and beyond, a press release from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said.

“With transportation as the largest source of U.S. climate emissions, these strongest-ever pollution standards for cars solidify America’s leadership in building a clean transportation future,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The standards will slash over 7 billion tons of climate pollution, improve air quality in overburdened communities, and give drivers more clean vehicle choices while saving them money.”

 

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The updated standards will provide almost $100 billion in net benefits to society annually, with $13 billion in public health benefits from improved air quality, and reduced fuel, repair and maintenance costs of $62 billion.

When the new rules have been completely phased in, they will provide an estimated $6,000 in fuel and maintenance reductions per vehicle for the average driver.

“The President’s agenda is working. On factory floors across the nation, our autoworkers are making cars and trucks that give American drivers a choice – a way to get from point A to point B without having to fuel up at a gas station. From plug-in hybrids to fuel cells to fully electric, drivers have more choices today. Since 2021, sales of these vehicles have quadrupled and prices continue to come down. This growth means jobs, and it means we are moving faster and faster to take on the climate crisis,” said Ali Zaidi, national climate advisor to the Biden-Harris administration.

The rules expand on existing passenger car and light truck emissions standards by the EPA and are projected to produce 7.2 billion tons less carbon emissions through 2055 — four times the total transportation sector emissions for 2021. Ozone and fine particulate matter will also be reduced, lowering the occurrence of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, heart attacks, aggravated asthma and preventing as many as 2,500 premature deaths.

“Compared to the existing MY 2026 standards, the final MY 2032 standards represent a nearly 50% reduction in projected fleet average GHG emissions levels for light-duty vehicles and 44% reductions for medium-duty vehicles. In addition, the standards are expected to reduce emissions of health-harming fine particulate matter from gasoline-powered vehicles by over 95%. This will improve air quality nationwide and especially for people who live near major roadways and have environmental justice concerns,” the press release said.

Emissions from volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides will also be reduced by 75%, reported The Guardian.

However, stricter emissions are not happening fast enough, critics say, allowing automakers to keep producing gas-powered vehicles.

“This rule could’ve been the biggest single step of any nation on climate, but the EPA caved to pressure from big auto, big oil and car dealers, and riddled the plan with loopholes big enough to drive a Ford F150 through,” said Dan Becker, Center for Biological Diversity’s safe climate transport campaign director, as The Guardian reported.

The standards are predicted to help speed up the adoption of green vehicle technologies.

“The step EPA is taking today will slash climate pollution and air pollution,” said Amanda Leland, Environmental Defense Fund’s executive director, in the press release. “The U.S. has leapt forward in the global race to invest in clean vehicles, with $188 billion and nearly 200,000 jobs on the way… These clean car standards will help supercharge economic expansion and make America stronger.”

This article originally appeared on EcoWatch and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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This article originally appeared on EcoWatch and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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