Energy & Environment

GM asks for flexibility in meeting emissions target

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General Motors (GM) has asked the Biden administration for leeway on the carbon reduction targets for automakers.

In a Wednesday letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, CEO Mary Barra said the company backs the emissions reductions goals in a 2019 deal between industry and the state of California, according to Reuters. However, Barra also asked the federal government for incentives to hasten the transition to electrified vehicles.

“We believe an electric vehicle compliance pathway is a key component to setting the industry on an irreversible path towards a zero-emissions future, which can only be achieved with a tailpipe-free light duty fleet,” she wrote.

An EPA spokesperson told The Hill in a statement Thursday that “Regan spoke this week with leaders from auto manufacturers to discuss EPA’s priorities to reduce climate pollution from the transportation sector.”

“These conversations have been constructive as the agency moves forward on actions to address emissions from cars and light duty trucks,” the spokesperson added.

GM had earlier supported the Trump administration in its litigation against California’s tougher emissions standards, but withdrew from the lawsuit in late November shortly after President Biden’s electoral victory.

“We believe the ambitious electrification goals of the President-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned to address climate change by drastically reducing automobile emissions. We are confident that the Biden administration, California, and the U.S. auto industry, which supports 10.3 million jobs, can collaboratively find the pathway that will deliver an all-electric future,” the company wrote in the November letter.

Shortly after Biden took office, GM announced it will exclusively sell zero-emission vehicles after 2035, in alignment with the administration’s goal of reducing nationwide emissions by half from 2005 levels by the end of the decade.

Under the terms of an August deal between California and major automakers, companies would be required to meet an average fuel economy standard of about 51 miles per gallon by 2026.

Automakers could “comply with higher-level performance standards in the later part of the program through increased sales of pure EV vehicles,” Barra wrote in her letter, according to Reuters.

Tags Air pollution Electric vehicles EVs General Motors GM Joe Biden Mary Barra Michael Regan Reuters Sustainable transport Vehicle emission standard Zero-emissions vehicle

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