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New EPA Auto Emissions Rule - What You Need to Know

New EPA Auto Emissions Rule

EPA announces new tailpipe emissions rules

In the year 2023, a significant shift occurred in the automotive landscape as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled stringent regulations targeting exhaust emissions from both cars and light trucks, aiming to reduce the acceptable threshold by 56 percent compared to existing regulations. While compliance specifics are not outlined in the new regulations, it is clear that automakers will be forced to increase the proliferation of battery-powered electric vehicles to align with the revised standards. This sparked strong resistance from automotive companies, especially Toyota and Stellantis.

Commenting on the proposed new regulations, Stellantis expressed concerns regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) outlook on the electric vehicle (EV) market growth, citing it as overly optimistic. Stellantis highlighted that the EPA's expectations assumed a flawless transition to EVs, overlooking challenges such as limited manufacturing capacity and insufficient consumer support. Stellantis emphasized that the EPA's anticipated rate of EV adoption surpasses current policy measures, posing significant risks to the automotive industry, which is obligated to comply with these standards regardless of the validity of such assumptions.

Echoing similar sentiments, Toyota also echoed concerns raised by Stellantis regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) view of the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market. Toyota insists that the EPA's expectations are too optimistic, assuming a perfect transition to electric vehicles but ignoring challenges such as limited production capacity and inadequate consumer support. Additionally, Toyota emphasized that the EPA's projected electric vehicle adoption rate exceeds the support provided by current policy measures, thereby posing significant risks to the automotive industry, which is required to comply with these standards regardless of the validity of such assumptions.

Adding to the dissent, The United Auto Workers (UAW) voiced opposition to the new regulations, highlighting concerns that jobs in the electric vehicle (EV) sector often offer lower wages compared to traditional autoworker roles. The UAW urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider its standards, proposing a more gradual increase in stringency to mitigate potential adverse effects on domestic union auto production.

EPA Announces Final Emissions Rules


In a moment heralded as a landmark in the annals of US environmental policy, the Biden administration unveiled fresh directives concerning the regulation of tailpipe emissions on March 20th. This regulation, mandating a reduction of 56% in the aggregate carbon emissions across the nation's automotive fleet by the year 2032, stands as the most stringent restriction ever imposed on vehicular pollution. "Today, we embark upon the establishment of novel pollution benchmarks for automobiles and trucks," articulated President Biden in an official proclamation. "American labor will spearhead the global endeavor toward the production of environmentally-conscious automobiles and trucks, proudly labeled 'Made in America.' My commitment to this cause is unwavering."

Fundamentally, the updated regulation relaxes the severity of emissions standards currently and in the immediate future, compensating for this leniency in subsequent years. The underlying principle suggests that with the surge in electric vehicle purchases post-2030, the overall impact will closely resemble the original proposed regulations — a substantial decline in exhaust emissions, significantly contributing to the mitigation of carbon emissions. However, it's important to note that this shift will also affect other types of pollutants. Electric vehicles comprised a mere 7.6 percent of new car acquisitions in the US last year. The EPA anticipates that the adoption of electric vehicles will surge to encompass between 35 and 56 percent of total sales by 2032.

Senior administration officials briefed reporters on Tuesday, affirming that once the new regulation is fully enforced by 2055, it will have effectively curbed over 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions cumulatively. Additionally, it will address the issue of toxic pollution by drastically reducing fine particulate emissions by 95%, as well as cutting oxides of nitrogen and other volatile organic compounds by 75%.

The significant reduction in fine particulates is bound to draw attention. These minute particles, measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, have the ability to directly infiltrate the human bloodstream through the lungs, resulting in detrimental effects on pulmonary and cardiovascular health, particularly among children. It is only Donald Trump and his adherents who display indifference toward the well-being of children. The self-aggrandizing figure of Mar-A-Lago has made a solemn pledge to rescind all exhaust emissions regulations "from day one" should he be re-elected, ushering in a reign of terror.

Automakers And UAW Say They Are Pleased By The New EPA Rule

Upon the announcement of the rule change, the UAW issued a statement affirming, "The EPA's responsiveness to the worries of laborers and communities has resulted in a emissions regulation that is more practical. This regulation safeguards the interests of workers involved in the construction of ICE vehicles, while also offering automakers a pathway to integrate a comprehensive array of automotive technologies aimed at emission reduction."

Automakers also welcomed the alterations. "The appropriate tempo for something of such significance and transformative nature... affords us an opportunity to fortify the manufacturing and industrial foundation requisite for enduring triumph," articulated John Bozzella, the president of the automotive conglomerate Alliance for Automotive Innovation, during an EPA press briefing on Wednesday.

Not everyone expresses contentment, undoubtedly. "This regulation had the potential to mark the most significant individual stride by any nation toward combating climate change. However, the EPA yielded to the influence exerted by major automotive, petroleum, and automobile dealership entities, consequently permeating the strategy with loopholes substantial enough to accommodate a Ford F-150," remarked Dan Becker, the head of the climate-conscious transportation initiative at the environmental advocacy organization Center for Biological Diversity.

Senator Joe Manchin, in his capacity as a lame duck, declared his endorsement of Republican endeavors to annul the regulation. In a statement issued on Wednesday, he denounced it as "reckless and uninformed," emphasizing its imposition of what amounts to an electric vehicle mandate, devoid of assurances regarding the safeguarding of our supply chains against nations such as China and lacking a pragmatic transition plan to address our domestic infrastructure requirements. Manchin, whose considerable wealth stems from the promotion of a particularly environmentally harmful variant of coal, displays little concern for the well-being of children's respiratory systems and cognitive faculties — especially if it results in diminished profits for himself.

Plug-In Hybrids Take On  New Prominence

EPA announces new tailpipe emissions rules

Senator Joe Manchin, in his capacity as a lame duck, declared his endorsement of Republican endeavors to annul the regulation. In a statement issued on Wednesday, he denounced it as "reckless and uninformed," emphasizing its imposition of what amounts to an electric vehicle mandate, devoid of assurances regarding the safeguarding of our supply chains against nations such as China and lacking a pragmatic transition plan to address our domestic infrastructure requirements. Manchin, whose considerable wealth stems from the promotion of a particularly environmentally harmful variant of coal, displays little concern for the well-being of children's respiratory systems and cognitive faculties — especially if it results in diminished profits for himself.

Certain environmental organizations praised the newly imposed restrictions. "Each passing day sees millions of Americans grappling with the consequences of vehicular pollution, unsupportable fuel costs, and the climate emergency, all exacerbated by the emission of pollutants from gasoline-powered vehicles within our communities," remarked Ben Jealous, serving as the executive director of the Sierra Club. "At this moment, Mr. President has taken one of the most consequential measures within his administration's power to combat climate change by introducing regulations with benefits that extend well beyond mere reduction of greenhouse gas emissions." He further added that the newly established standards will "preserve lives and financial resources for households."

The surge in electric vehicle (EV) sales is undeniable. Over the past year, there has been a remarkable uptick, soaring by 54% when juxtaposed with figures from 2022. This ascent follows a notable 46% surge from the preceding year, as reported by Wards Auto Data. Ali Zaidi, the national climate adviser under President Biden, emphasized the expanding array of options available to drivers, ranging from plug-in hybrids to fuel cell vehicles and fully electric models, in a statement delivered via email. He underscored the significance of this growth, highlighting its role in job creation and its pivotal contribution to our increasingly urgent battle against the climate crisis.

Advocates emphasize that the regulation will particularly benefit communities of color, who often bear the brunt of pollution emanating from roads and highways. Asada Rashidi, an environmental justice organizer representing the Southern Environmental Alliance and part of the National Environmental Youth Advisory Council, expressed optimism about the rule's impact on her community during the EPA's Wednesday press briefing. She stressed the ongoing need for environmental improvement while applauding the current measure as a positive stride forward. EPA Administrator Regan hailed the rule as a historic triumph for public health, environmental preservation, and the nation's future.

The Takeaway

Politics can be a contentious arena. The UAW has declared its intention to allocate a significant sum of money towards securing Biden's re-election, creating a scenario where members of the administration are hesitant to antagonize the union. Meanwhile, automakers deploy numerous lobbyists who navigate the halls of power daily, distributing funds strategically to safeguard their interests.

What we're witnessing is a compromise aimed at minimizing irritation while progressing towards the desired objective. If successful, this approach could be hailed as a masterstroke in policymaking within a divided world.

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