The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Dan Becker

EPA Caves to Industry Pressure, Finalizes Weaker Auto Pollution Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today finalized new tailpipe emissions standards for model years 2027 to 2032 that allow far more pollution than the strongest alternative it considered. The standards fail to prevent massive carbon pollution from millions of new gas-powered SUVs, pickup trucks and cars.

The EPA estimates the rule’s emissions requirements would result in up to 67% electric vehicle sales by 2032. But the rule requires fewer emissions reductions in the early years compared to the agency’s alternative proposal. That will pump long-lived carbon pollution into the atmosphere sooner and do more damage to the climate than would have been allowed under stronger versions the administration analyzed.

“This rule could’ve been the biggest single step of any nation on climate, but the EPA caved to pressure from Big Auto, Big Oil and car dealers and riddled the plan with loopholes big enough to drive a Ford F150 through,” said Dan Becker, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Transport Campaign. “The weaker rule means cars and pickups spew more pollution, oil companies keep socking consumers at the pump, and automakers keep wielding well-practiced delay tactics.”

“In exchange for making EVs, the rule allows automakers to produce tens of millions of new gas-guzzlers with few or no carbon cuts,” said Becker. “These cars, SUVs and pickups will dominate sales through much of this decade, guzzling and polluting into the middle of the century.”

Stronger standards would have helped consumers, especially those with low incomes, because EVs save money compared to gas-powered vehicles, even in California where electricity is expensive. They would make economic sense.

“BYD, a Chinese EV manufacturer, and other foreign companies will be happy to seize the EV market as Detroit falls behind,” said Becker. “The U.S. automakers never recovered the huge market share they lost to Japanese companies in the 1970s and ‘80s, yet here we go again.”

“All automakers have safe, affordable gas-saving technology,” said Becker. “This is auto mechanics, not rocket science. Unfortunately, industry lobbying turned this process into a race between loopholes and the climate, and the loopholes won.”

“The government recognizes climate change as an existential threat, but this modest step fails to rise to the challenge,” Becker said. “So next we’ll urge California to exercise its authority to set tougher new standards to protect its people from the auto pollution that will continue to spew after the EPA standards are implemented.”

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

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