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EPA issues new rule to curb tailpipe pollution, fight climate change

The Environmental Protection Agency today issued a new rule that aims to reduce tailpipe pollution from cars and light-duty trucks -- an attempt by President Joe Biden to return to fuel economy standards imposed by Barack Obama nearly a decade ago.

Under the rule, passenger vehicles would be required to achieve an average of 55 miles per gallon of gasoline (mpg) of travel by 2026—slightly higher than Obama's target of 54 mpg, but a major increase over the 38-mpg rule. President Donald Trump. The EPA estimates that the new standard will prevent the release of 3.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2050 and save car owners $420 billion in fuel costs.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan called it "the most ambitious vehicular pollution standard ever established for greenhouse gases", adding that "the standards are achievable, economical, and will provide a significant pollution reduction."

The new fuel economy standards are the latest effort by the Biden administration to reduce air pollution in the broader fight against climate change. Earlier this month, Biden signed an executive order asking the federal government to spend billions of dollars to buy electric vehicles, upgrade federal buildings and take advantage of the government's power to move to cleaner forms of electricity. was asked to. was instructed.

The administration will need to rely more heavily on executive actions to fight climate change after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) came out against Biden's Build Back Better proposal, which would have implemented a slate of environmental initiatives.

The new rule, which takes effect in 60 days, applies to vehicle model years 2023 to 2026. They are seen as a return to Obama's corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rules from 2012, which require automakers to build more efficient, less polluting vehicles. , Those rules were withdrawn under President Donald Trump, who sought to weaken the rule and allow the auto industry to make dirty cars.

Advocates called the new rule a victory for the environment and public health. American Lung Association national president and CEO Harold P. "Climate change affects the health of every American - now and for every future generation," Wimmer said in a statement. "These greenhouse gas standards are an important step forward for the climate and clean air benefits that are desperately needed in communities across the United States."

Meanwhile, the auto industry indicated that more would need to be done to help accelerate sales of electric vehicles, including tax breaks such as the Build Back Better plan that now looks uncertain.

“Achieving the goals of this final rule will undoubtedly require the enactment of supportive government policies,” said John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which lobbies for the auto industry, “consumer incentives, basic Adequate support for infrastructure development, including fleet requirements, and US manufacturing and supply chain development."

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