EPA Chief Claims Tougher Emissions, Fuel Economy Regulations Coming by July

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【Summary】The Biden administration is looking to put new fuel economy regulations and new limits on emissions in place as quickly as this July, as the administration wants to put the Trump administration's regulations in the past.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    May 18, 2021 4:05 PM PT
EPA Chief Claims Tougher Emissions, Fuel Economy Regulations Coming by July

While President Joe Biden has made electric vehicles a priority, his administration is also emphasizing putting an end to the previous administration's decision to introduce relaxed standards for fuel economy and emissions regulations. According to Bloomberg, the Biden administration is on track to put new limits on greenhouse gases and emissions that vehicles put out, as it looks to meet "the urgency of the climate crisis," claims EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

Tougher Regulations Coming

"We need to go as far as we can to meet the demands of the day," Regan told Bloomberg News. "The science indicates we have a short window in time to reverse the path that we're on and mitigate against certain climate impacts."

To fight global warming, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to rewrite a Trump-era regulation that relaxed limits on greenhouse gas emissions for vehicles through the 2026 model year. The current rules that the Trump administration put in place require automakers to make 1.5 percent improvements every year through 2026 regarding emissions and fuel economy. Under the Obama administration, automakers had to increase vehicle efficiency across their entire fleet by 5 percent every year.

When the Obama administration had put the standards into effect, automakers complained that they were unrealistic. But when Trump introduced the more lenient regulations, some thought they rolled things too far back. It also set up a fight between states and automakers, as people chose sides. California was vocal in its fight against the Trump administration's rolled-back regulations, but was sued by the administration over its ability to set its own standards.

In the interview with Bloomberg, EPA Administrator Michael Regan highlighted California's ability to be able to set its own standards and stated that he's "a firm believer in the state's statutory authority to lead." Additionally, Regan claimed that the EPA is not interested in yielding to pressure from automakers that believe regulations are too difficult to reach, since the transportation sector is the top source of global-warming pollution in the country.

Gas-Car Ban A Possibility

California has always been a leader in fuel economy and emissions regulations in the U.S. and recently introduce an official plan to phase out gasoline-powered cars in the state. While countries around the world have imposed similar phase-outs, the U.S. has not made any kind of plan to follow suit. Regan didn't rule out any kind of ban on gas-powered vehicles, but claimed that the EPA is looking into the science behind fighting climate change.

"We're taking a strong look at what the science is urging us to do. We're looking at where technologies are," Regan said. "We're marrying our regulatory policy and what we have the statutory authority to do with where the science directs us and where the markets and technology are."

While the EPA is looking into coming out with stricter fuel economy and emissions regulations, we're unsure of what kind of requirements it will put into place. Automakers have voiced their interest in following a federal regulation instead of having to meet cars for California and other ZEV states, as well as the rest of the country.

As we stated earlier, President Biden has been a large proponent of electric vehicles since becoming President and his stance could play a role in the EPA's upcoming proposal.

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