Politics EPA to propose vehicle emissions standards meet 'the urgency of the climate crisis' by July's end

22:40  06 april  2021
22:40  06 april  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to propose stricter emissions standards for vehicles by the end of July, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said Tuesday.

Michael S. Regan wearing a suit and tie: EPA to propose vehicle emissions standards meet 'the urgency of the climate crisis' by July's end © Getty Images EPA to propose vehicle emissions standards meet 'the urgency of the climate crisis' by July's end

Regan told Bloomberg News in an interview that the new standards would be sufficient to meet "the urgency of the climate crisis."

"We need to go as far as we can to meet the demands of the day," Regan added. "The science indicates we have a short window in time to reverse the path that we're on and mitigate against certain climate impacts."

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An EPA spokesperson told The Hill that the timeline was dictated by an Executive Order from President Biden that requires the administration to review the former Trump administration's rule that relaxed the emissions limits by July.

The spokesperson confirmed that the EPA is on track to meet that timeline.

That rule also loosened the requirement for fuel economy standards, which dictate how much gasoline per mile that the U.S. fleet can consume, which the Biden administration could also tighten.

The executive order also requires a review this month of the decision to revoke California's ability to set its own tailpipe emissions standards, which have been stricter than the federal government's standards and adopted by a number of other states.

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Regan told Bloomberg that he is "a firm believer in the state's statutory authority to lead."

According to the news outlet, he also did not rule out the possibility for additional regulations in the future that would essentially ban new conventional gas-powered cars.

"We're taking a strong look at what the science is urging us to do. We're looking at where technologies are," the administrator said. "We're marrying our regulatory policy and what we have the statutory authority to do with where the science directs us and where the markets and technology are."

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, making up 28 percent of the country's emissions as of 2018, meaning that these standards could have major impacts on the country's contribution to climate change.

Regan's comments come as some automakers look to increase the share of vehicles that are electric.

EPA’s New Chief Gets to Work on Climate Goals—and Hiring Scientists .
Michael Regan comes into a beleaguered agency with an ambitious agenda that could force change on everything from cars to power plants. And what about a carbon tax?Before he even begins pursuing what he terms an “aggressive climate agenda,” Regan faces the daunting task of rebuilding an agency left in disarray by the previous administration. The EPA spent the past four years demoralized and belittled, with an exodus among rank-and-file staff. That means hiring hundreds of scientists just to fill vacancies.

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