The Biden Administration Is About To Get Serious On Emissions Standards: Report

Trump tried to roll back Obama-era regulations, but those are probably on their way back, with a bigger bite.

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The tug-of-war that is emissions regulations in this country has seen a remarkable past decade, as the Obama administration instituted some of the strongest emissions regulations in the world before the Trump administration tried to roll them back. Guess what the Biden administration plans to do.

According to the Associated Press, the answer is: a lot, in that the Biden administration wants to get 40 percent of people in EVs by 2030.

Acknowledging Biden’s goal of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least half by 2030, the rules would begin with the 2023 car model year and start by applying California’s 2019 framework agreement on emissions standards reached between Ford, Volkswagen, Honda, BMW and Volvo, according to three of the officials. The California deal increases the mileage standard and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7% per year.

Requirements ramp up in 2025 to Obama-era levels of a 5% annual increase in the mileage standard and a similar cut in emissions. They then go higher than that for model year 2026, one of the people said, perhaps in the range of 6% or 7%.

Neither EPA nor the Transportation Department would comment on the proposal.


In the proposed rule, the EPA is likely to make a nonbinding statement that the requirements will ramp up even faster starting in 2027, forcing the industry to sell more zero-emissions electric vehicles, the industry and government officials said. For now, the agency was seeking to ask that 40% of all new car sales to be electric vehicles by 2030, according to one of the officials.


Forty percent by 2030 is a little stronger than you might think, at least for America. Europe is moving in the direction of going emissions-free for all new car sales by 2035, and if we’re at 40 percent by 2030 going all-in by then too at least seems plausible. And yet, this is also America, and so I expect these rules to get watered down, as, for now, this is just a proposal. This also all probably hinges, long-term, on who wins the 2024 presidential election, and if it’s Trump then we will all be forced to watch the shittiest rerun in American history.

Let’s think happy thoughts, though, and consider that this is one thing that Biden doesn’t have to run through Congress, where good things go to die. The automakers also can’t even complain, as they’ve given up fighting California’s standards, anyway. Bring on the EVs.