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New EPA Rule Slow-Rolls Climate Progress, Caters to Big Auto

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new rule to regulate vehicle tailpipe emissions that will prevent more than seven billion tons of carbon pollution by 2055 but also gives automakers substantial leeway to determine when and how they reduce pollution from their vehicle fleets.

For context, some estimates show that US light duty vehicle sales would need to be as much as 95-100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2030 to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius per year. 

Public Citizen senior policy advocate Chelsea Hodgkins released the following statement in response:

“Under the EPA’s updated clean car standards, more vehicle pollution will be avoided and more lives saved than would have been under current regulations. That is important to celebrate.

“But this rule falls far short of what is needed to protect public health and our planet. EPA is giving automakers a pass to continue producing polluting vehicles. 

“We are in a crisis, and clean vehicle technology that will help solve it is here and available now. The Biden Administration had the opportunity to shift the automotive industry away from a model that’s driving record profits for automakers while literally killing us, toward one that still provides strong profits but keeps the world safer for humans. It made improvements but is coming up well short, which is deeply disappointing at a time when we need ever-stronger climate leadership.”

For more information, or to speak with an expert, contact eleach@citizen.org.