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U.S. EPA sets new standards for vehicle emissions

U.S. EPA sets new standards for vehicle emissions

Commuters travel through early morning traffic to get to downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., July 22, 2019, REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files

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WASHINGTON (20/12/2018) – The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized new vehicle emissions standards through 2026. These will reverse President Donald Trump’s rollbacks of car pollution cuts. They will also accelerate a U.S. shift towards more electric vehicles.

“We are setting rigorous and stringent standards that will aggressively reduce pollution that is causing harm to people and the planet, and save families money at all costs,” Michael Regan, EPA Administrator, stated in a statement.

In August, President Joe Biden proposed that the Trump-era measures to ease restrictions on the presidency of Barack Obama be reversed. Monday’s new rule is stricter than either the August proposal of EPA or Obama’s requirements.

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If expressed in miles per gal (mpg) requirements, EPA rules would result to a fleetwide average about 40 mpg 2026, compared to 38 mpg for the August proposal and 32 mpg for the Trump rules.

Obama and Biden, both Democratic administrations, have advocated for stricter fuel efficiency standards to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change. The new rules will result is 3.1 billion tonnes of avoided CO2 emissions by 2050. This comes after environmental groups and states urged the administration for stricter rules.

Biden calls for 50% of all new vehicles to be EV- or plug in hybrid models by 2030.

Trump’s Republican administration repealed Obama’s standards in March 2020 to only require 1.5% annual efficiency increases through 2026. Obama had demanded 5% annual growths.

The new rules will take effect in 2023 and require a 28.3% reduction of vehicle emissions through 2026.

Automakers will have to work hard to meet the rules, especially Detroit’s Big Three. Regan will announce the rules Monday at an event with General Motors (GM.N), Ford Motor Co. F.N (F.N), Stellantis NV (STLA.MI), and Chrysler-parent Stellantis NV.

Sunday’s setback in the Biden administration’s EV plan was caused by Joe Manchin (Democratic Senator) stating that he would not support a $1.75 Trillion domestic investment bill that includes new EV credit credits that would benefit Detroit’s Big Three automakers.

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According to the EPA, vehicle emissions reduction benefits could exceed costs by upto $190 billion. Drivers will also save between $210 billion-$420 billion in 2050.

According to the EPA, 17% of new U.S. automobiles will be EVs by 2026.

The largest U.S. source for greenhouse gases is the transportation sector.

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Reporting by David Shepardson. Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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