Energy & Environment

EPA to propose vehicle emissions standards to meet ‘the urgency of the climate crisis’ by July’s end

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to propose stricter emissions standards for vehicles by the end of July, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said Tuesday. 

Regan told Bloomberg News in an interview that the new standards would be sufficient to meet “the urgency of the climate crisis.”

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

An EPA spokesperson told The Hill that the timeline was dictated by an executive order from President Biden that requires the administration to review the former Trump administration’s rule that relaxed the emissions limits by July. 

The spokesperson confirmed that the EPA is on track to meet that timeline. 

That rule also loosened the requirement for fuel economy standards, which dictate how much gasoline per mile that the U.S. fleet can consume, which the Biden administration could also tighten. 

The executive order also requires a review this month of the decision to revoke California’s ability to set its own tailpipe emissions standards, which have been stricter than the federal government’s standards and adopted by a number of other states. 

Regan told Bloomberg that he is “a firm believer in the state’s statutory authority to lead.”

According to the news outlet, he also did not rule out the possibility for additional regulations in the future that would essentially ban new conventional gas-powered cars. 

“We’re taking a strong look at what the science is urging us to do. We’re looking at where technologies are,” the administrator 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.”

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, making up 28 percent of the country’s emissions as of 2018, meaning that these standards could have major impacts on the country’s contribution to climate change. 

Regan’s comments come as some automakers look to increase the share of vehicles that are electric.

Tags fuel economy Joe Biden Michael Regan vehicle emissions standards Vehicles

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