Biden will ramp up tailpipe standards

Source: By MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Biden administration will propose rules increasing federal tailpipe greenhouse gas standards by ramping up annual targets through model year 2026, the Associated Press reports, citing auto industry and government officials. The rules could be proposed as soon as next week.

Specifically, the AP says the joint EPA-NHTSA rules (Reg. 2060-AV13, Reg. 2127-AM34) will apply the standard adopted in California’s 2019 deal, around 3.7 percent, starting with 2023 vehicles. That will ramp up through 2025 to roughly Obama-era 5 percent improvements, and in 2026 go even higher, potentially up to 7 percent. EPA also seems poised to revive extra credit granted for electric vehicle sales, the AP says, which automakers say will boost EV adoption but that environmentalists argue waters down the program and obscures emissions from gas guzzler sales.

The Biden rule has the makings of a classic Washington compromise: Everyone is dissatisfied. Automakers have been pushing Biden to pick something in between the California program and the original Obama standards, so industry likely will call this too stringent (especially considering that it sets up EPA to mandate more aggressive percentages later this decade). Meanwhile, environmentalists are already blasting the proposal, with Dan Becker of the Center for Biological Diversity calling it “a loophole-riddled Swiss cheese auto pollution standard masquerading as a seven-course champagne dinner.” The rules are still under review at the White House.

Dept. of Good Timing: CBD has a full-page ad in today’s New York Times (which the president reads in print) depicting a pickup truck teetering on the edge of a cliff and urging Biden to adopt stronger rules with the goal of phasing out gasoline-powered light vehicles by 2030.