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The Biden Administration Just Proposed the Strongest Car Pollution Standards Ever
Cars are one of the largest sources of U.S. climate pollution. On April 12, the EPA proposed new car pollution standards, which will move us towards a pollution-free future. The rule will reinforce our country’s shift to electric vehicles, which EPA projects could make up two-thirds of car sales in the U.S. by 2032.
This new rule follows years of advocacy by Earthjustice and our partners, including a 2020 lawsuit that challenged the gutting of clean car regulations by the Trump administration. You can help clean up the air for all communities and fight the climate crisis by asking the EPA to further strengthen and implement these pivotal standards.
Why are car pollution standards important?
- Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in the U.S., accounting for nearly 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Air pollution from cars and trucks harms people’s health — especially in low-income communities and communities of color that border major roads and freeways. Vehicle emissions cause thousands of premature deaths and billions in health care costs every year.
- Transitioning to cleaner cars reduces our dependence on oil and saves drivers billions at the pump. It also drives innovation and creates jobsin the auto industry.
- Clean car standards are a critical step forward as we move toward a zero-emissions transportation sector powered by 100% clean energy.
What is the Biden administration doing about car pollution?
- The rule proposed April 12 seeks to modernize the nation’s car standards and gradually shift passenger vehicles in the United States to non-polluting, zero emissions vehicles.
- This proposal builds on existing regulations. In 2021, the EPA restored and strengthened emissions and fuel economy standards for new cars and light trucks through the model year 2026. The new rule would apply to model years 2027 through 2032.
- The Biden administration also restored California’s authority to set more ambitious tailpipe emissions standards after the Trump administration sought to revoke it.
How is Earthjustice pushing for cleaner cars and trucks?
- Earthjustice has been advocating for strong car pollution standards for more than a decade.
- Now we’re urging the Biden administration to make these standards even stronger and finalize them as quickly as possible. Major federal investments in electric vehicles, combined with fast-improving technology, make it possible to transition even more quickly to zero-emissions vehicles.
- We are also calling on the administration to adopt similarly strong regulations on truck pollution. Trucks account for a quarter of transportation-related climate pollution, and they also emit heavy doses of nitrogen oxides, which damage hearts and lungs. Despite these health harms, the Biden administration has proposed a rule that would not require manufacturers to produce more zero-emissions trucks than are already projected.
- We’ve also helped lay the groundwork for national progress by defending California’s authority to set stronger clean car standards than the federal government, and pushing California to lead the way towards a 100% zero-emissions future.
Originally published on July 9, 2021. Updated to reflect the most recent developments.