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Strictest-ever vehicle emissions standards to be proposed by Biden admin amid push for EVs

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden is set to propose new gas-powered car and light truck emissions standards next week as part of the administration's latest push for electric vehicles. Sources familiar with the announcement, who asked to remain anonymous, told Bloomberg that the standards would be the strictest ever proposed, just short of an EV mandate or gas-powered vehicle ban.

In Detroit next Wednesday, the Biden administration is predicted to announce heavy restrictions on tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and other vehicle emissions. The restrictions would impact vehicle models 2027 through 2032.

The Environmental Protection Agency is anticipated to reject requests from environmental groups to apply standards through 2035.

According to Bloomberg, gas-powered vehicle manufacturers have requested that the administration push back the proposed standards, claiming that meeting the emissions requirements and EV production goals largely depends on investments in charging infrastructure, mineral production, and other factors outside automakers' control.

In addition to announcing updated standards for cars and light trucks on Wednesday, the EPA plans to propose additional rules on heavy-duty trucks and smog-forming vehicle emissions that could force manufacturers to implement exhaust controls. Later this month, the EPA will also release new standards for power plants.

The upcoming proposal is another step the administration is taking to meet its Paris agreement commitment, which would require the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2005 to 2030.

Additionally, the Biden administration aims to push for at least half of all new vehicles in the U.S. to be electric by 2030.

Dan Becker, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's Safe Climate Transport Campaign, told Bloomberg that the federal government needs to apply "continuous pressure for improvement."

The administration's new proposal is currently under interagency review, the EPA reported. The agency noted that the standards will "support the transition to a zero-emissions transportation future, protecting people and the planet."

Last month, the EPA finalized the "Good Neighbor Plan," which tightened emissions restrictions on power plants and other facilities in 23 states, primarily in the Midwest. The rule was implemented to reduce emissions from upwind states that cause downwind smog.

According to the agency, the rule will save "thousands of lives," reduce asthma attacks, and keep people out of the hospital. It predicted that the plan would prevent 1,300 premature deaths and 2,300 hospital visits, as well as avoid 430,000 school absence days and 25,000 missed work days.

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