Biden cracks down on diesel trucks in bid to fight climate change, reduce emissions

The Biden administration finalized long-awaited regulations targeting emissions generated from heavy-duty vehicles, including trucks and buses, the latest salvo in President Biden’s sweeping climate agenda.The Environmental Protection Agency announced the new regulations Friday morning, and officials said they represent the strongest-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards of their kind. The rules will kick in beginning in 2026 for model year 2027 vehicles and progressively become more stringent through model year 2032, forcing a larger number of trucks and buses to be zero-emissions in that time frame.”EPA’s standards complement President Biden’s unprecedented investment in our workers and communities to reduce harmful emissions, while strengthening our manufacturing capacity for the transportation technologies of the future,” said White House Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi. “By tackling pollution from heavy-duty vehicles, we can unlock extraordinary public health, climate, and economic gains.””In finalizing these emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and buses, EPA is significantly cutting pollution from the hardest-working vehicles on the road,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “Building on our recently finalized rule for light- and medium-duty vehicles, EPA’s strong and durable vehicle standards respond to the urgency of the climate crisis by making deep cuts in emissions from the transportation sector.”TRUMP CAMPAIGN UNLEASHES ON BIDEN FOR BACKING CALIFORNIA’S GAS CAR BANOverall, EPA said the aggressive standards will avoid a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and provide $13 billion in annualized net societal benefits related to public health, the climate and business savings. The agency claims that the regulations will set the heavy-duty vehicle industry on a “trajectory for sustained growth.”The new regulations apply to short-haul and long-haul tractor-trailer trucks, in addition to vocational trucks like delivery vehicles, garbage trucks, school and public transit buses, concrete trucks and fire trucks. EPA previously projected that the standards could lead to 50% of vocational trucks, 35% of short-haul tractor-trailers and 25% of long-haul tractor-trailers produced in 2032 being electric.Less than 1% of new truck sales in the U.S. are zero-emissions, according to the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, which represents the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles.VULNERABLE HOUSE DEM BUCKS PARTY ORTHODOXY, BLASTING HIS STATE’S PROPOSED EV MANDATE”With the climate crisis underway and many of our communities facing unprecedented fires, droughts and floods, it’s crucial that truck manufacturers get into the fast lane with zero-emission trucks to deliver the climate, health, and economic benefits we deserve,” said Katherine Garcia, director of the Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign.Garcia and other environmental activists who lauded the regulations have for years called on the federal government to crack down on the trucking industry, pointing to its heavy carbon footprint. The transportation sector accounts for 29% of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks account for 23% of those emissions, federal data shows.However, the announcement immediately received pushback from the trucking industry and energy producers, who argued that it would lead to higher costs for trucking companies. “Small business truckers, who happen to care about clean air for themselves and their kids as much as anyone, make up 96% of trucking,” said Todd Spencer, president of Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, an organization that represents more than 150,000 members across all 50 states and Canada. “Yet, this administration seems dead set on regulating every local mom-and-pop business out of existence with its flurry of unworkable environmental mandates.”MAINE REJECTS SWEEPING ELECTRIC VEHICLE MANDATE IN BLOW TO GOVERNOR’S CLIMATE AGENDAIn comments filed with the EPA last year, the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association warned that the administration had overestimated the nearer-term feasible market penetration and adoption rates of electric trucks, and the demand for them. In a joint statement, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers President and CEO Chet Thompson and American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Mike Sommers called on Congress to immediately overturn the regulations. They also said they were prepared to take the administration to court over the rule.”This is yet another example of the Biden administration’s whole-of-government effort to eliminate choices for American consumers, businesses and industries,” Thompson and Sommers said. “There is significant uncertainty regarding the technological and infrastructure capability to comply with this rule, which may threaten the speed and cost of goods moving throughout the country.”130+ HOUSE, SENATE REPUBLICANS JOIN FORCES IN OPPOSITION OF BIDEN’S UPCOMING EV MANDATEThe regulations are also sure to attract considerable criticism from Republican lawmakers, who have for months warned the Biden administration against targeting the heavy-duty vehicle industry. Last week, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said he would soon introduce a resolution to rescind the standards once they are finalized.”In the midst of sustained, crippling inflation, President Biden is choosing to add more regulatory dead weight onto our economy and our critical supply chains,” Sullivan said. “Hard-working families across the country will pay the price if this rule is allowed to stand. The cost of this rule will be felt in the rising price of gas, bread, eggs and other life essentials.”The final standards are somewhat less stringent than the first proposed standards in April 2023. They come one week after the EPA finalized its multi-pollutant emission standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles, the strongest of their kind to date.
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