Biden admin could set emissions limits so high gas cars can’t meet them

A tube attached to the tailpipe from a sports car performs an emissions test.

Enlarge (credit: Thomas Kienzle / AFP / Getty Images)

The Environmental Protection Agency will be issuing revised fuel economy standards by the end of July, said new EPA Administrator Michael Regan, rewriting Trump-era limits that dictate emissions limits for cars and light trucks through the 2026 model year. The goal with the revised standards, he added, will be to mitigate certain climate impacts.

The new fuel efficiency standards will have to be significantly more stringent than those issued by the Trump-era EPA, which only finalized its rules in March 2020 after a 1.5-year-long process. Those limits call for 1.5 percent annual increases in efficiency through 2026 rather than the 5 percent target under Obama-era rules. Fuel efficiency standards in the US are overseen by both the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an agency of the Department of Transportation.

“We’re taking a strong look at what the science is urging us to do. We’re looking at where technologies are,” Regan said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “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.”

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