The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Larisa Manescu,

Taking Major Action on Climate and Health, Biden Administration Finalizes Clean Car Pollution Standards

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized federal standards to strengthen the nation’s emissions requirements for light-duty vehicles that will encourage the production of cleaner passenger cars and light- and medium-duty trucks.

The standards cover model years 2027 to 2032 and build on the agency’s decades-long arc of action to cut vehicle pollution. The standards will avoid 7.2 billion metric tons of climate pollution from 2027-2055 and help clean the air for millions of Americans living near freeways and roads from coast to coast.

According to the EPA’s own analysis, the transportation sector accounts for 29 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions—more than any other sector in the U.S.—and is the fastest-growing emitter of GHG emissions. It is also a significant contributor to air pollution for communities across the nation, with passenger cars and trucks making up 44 percent of PM2.5 pollution and 76 percent of sulfur dioxide pollution from the nation’s vehicles.

Due to the legacy of redlining, communities of color are often most vulnerable to traffic pollution from highways and highly-trafficked corridors. Exposure to air pollution comes with an increased risk of many health problems, including increased risk of asthma attacks, strokes, heart attacks, cancer and premature deaths. By requiring automakers to reduce the emissions of their vehicles and deliver cleaner cars, the EPA is carrying out its statutory mandate to prevent toxic air pollution that threatens Americans’ health – especially our lung and heart health.

In response to the final rule, Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous released the following statement:

“Every single day, millions of Americans suffer under the weight of vehicle pollution, unsustainable gas prices, and the climate crisis, all fueled by tailpipe emissions spewing from gas cars throughout our communities. Today, President Biden, in one of the most significant actions his administration can take on climate change, has put forward standards with benefits extending far beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Biden Administration’s new clean car standards will save lives and money for families. And with investments from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act underway, these new standards will only further help U.S. manufacturers in building American-made and union-built zero-emission vehicles.”

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone's right to a healthy world.

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