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The “more stringent” standards released by the agency would induce a 56% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions for light-duty vehicles as well as a 44% decrease for medium-duty vehicles, while similar standards were introduced for heavy-duty vehicles. The regulations would seek to change market conditions such that electric vehicles constitute two-thirds of new sales for light-duty vehicles and nearly half of new sales for medium-duty vehicles by 2032.
“By proposing the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, we are delivering on the Biden-Harris administration’s promise to protect people and the planet, securing critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution and ensuring significant economic benefits like lower fuel and maintenance costs for families,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a press release. “These ambitious standards are readily achievable thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which is already driving historic progress to build more American-made electric cars and secure America’s global competitiveness.”
The proposals follow aggressive regulations and legislative packages from the White House over the past two years in favor of electric vehicles and an overall transition toward renewable energy. The Biden administration, which has established a “whole-of-government effort” to reduce carbon emissions and incentivize renewables, has also introduced new emissions rules for gas stoves, air conditioners, and mobile homes.
The EPA asserted that the proposed standards would decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 10 billion tons over the next three decades and produce as much as $1.6 trillion in value. Skeptics, on the other hand, contend that the move would ignore widespread desires for affordable and reliable conventional vehicles.
“With this new set of proposals, the Biden administration is setting out to use the power of government as a weapon to remove from the market the gas-powered trucks and cars that everyday consumers rely on, in favor of the kinds of cars that are most popular in liberal bastions,” Alliance for Consumers Executive Director O. H. Skinner said in comments provided to The Daily Wire. “Everyday consumers deserve better. The federal government shouldn’t be forcing progressive lifestyle choices on consumers. Biden and his activist allies think that they have found a way to force companies and consumers to comply with a progressive worldview without consequence or public scrutiny, and we are saying enough is enough.”
The ambitious proposals come shortly after a poll from the Associated Press and the National Opinion Research Center revealed that only 19% of Americans said they are “extremely likely” or “very likely” to select an electric vehicle for their next car purchase. Dominant reasons for hesitance toward electric cars were prohibitively high costs, a lack of charging stations, personal preference for gas vehicles, concerns with charging times, and a lack of confidence in current battery technology.
The concerns regarding electric vehicles could present obstacles to the successful rollout of the EPA regulations and similar moves from states attempting to encourage universal adoption of the nascent technology. California Air Resources Board officials issued rules last year requiring 35% of new vehicles to be zero-emission by 2026, a standard that will rise to a 68% benchmark by 2030 and a 100% benchmark by 2035. States such as Massachusetts, Washington, and Virginia have passed laws conforming their states to the standards.
The EPA granted two waivers of federal standards last month to the California Air Resources Board so that the state can enforce requirements for heavy-duty truck manufacturers to enact increasingly strict standards such that 100% of new sales are zero-emission by 2045.