US Environment Agency urged by 21 states to toughen rewrite of vehicle emissions
WASHINGTON, Sept.27 (Reuters) – A group of 21 state attorneys general, the District of Columbia and several major U.S. cities have urged the Biden administration to finalize much stricter vehicle emissions rules than proposed.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called in August to reverse the relaxation of Trump-era vehicle emissions rules with a new plan to increase efficiency by 10% over the course of model year 2023 and aim for an average fleet of 52 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2026.
But states and cities want tougher rules that say automakers have enough time to meet tougher rules.
“There is no need to wait to demand further deployment of these technologies or to delay the massive economic and public health benefits of reducing these emissions,” wrote the state attorneys general, led by California and joined by New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and others.
“The EPA must start now to tackle the devastating risks of climate change and the permanent damage facing communities,” they said.
Other signatory states include New York, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) also called for more stringency in separate comments, arguing that the standard proposed by the EPA “is too low.”
The ACEEE said the EPA’s analysis showed “that the proposed rule will only lead to an 8% electric vehicle market share by MA 2026”.
It was too low to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of 50 percent electric vehicles by 2030, he said in his official comments on the proposal.
General Motors said it supports the “emissions reduction targets” of the EPA’s proposal, which it called “historically strict”, but did not weigh in on the EPA’s request for comment. on whether to increase the 2026 requirements.
In March 2020, Trump’s Republican administration rescinded the standards of the previous Obama administration to require only a 1.5% annual increase in efficiency until 2026. Obama had demanded annual increases of 5 %.
Trump’s rewrite imposed fuel efficiency of just 43.3 mpg in 2026.
The EPA predicts that Biden’s requirements will cost $ 150-240 billion by 2025 in higher vehicle costs, but save motorists $ 120-250 billion in fuel costs. They will have net benefits of $ 86 billion to $ 140 billion, including other issues like improving public health and reducing pollution.
The EPA said that by 2050, the proposal would “reduce gasoline consumption by more than 290 million barrels,” a reduction of nearly 10%.
In 2020, the EPA said the Trump plan would increase U.S. oil consumption by about 500,000 barrels per day.
The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse emissions in the United States, accounting for 29% of total emissions. Light vehicles represent 58% of transport emissions.
Reporting by David Shepardson, editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Richard Pullin
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