WASHINGTON, July 27 (Reuters) - Environmental groups on
Tuesday criticized an expected Biden administration proposal to
revise U.S. vehicle emissions that is set to be released as
early as next week that they argue is not aggressive enough in
cutting auto pollution.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are reviewing then
President Donald Trump's March 2020 rollback of fuel economy
standards to require 1.5% annual increases in efficiency through
2026, well below the 5% yearly boosts set in 2012 by then
President Barack Obama's administration.
The proposed rules are expected to be similar in overall
vehicle emissions reductions to California's 2019 deal with Ford
Motor, Volkswagen, Honda Motor and
others that aims to improve fuel economy 3.7% annually between
2022-2026, sources briefed on the matter said.
NHTSA and EPA declined to comment on the details of the
planned proposal, which is expected to begin with revisions to
the 2023 model year.
The Associated Press reported earlier the 2026 model year
requirements could be higher than the Obama 5% annual hike.
Consumer Reports said its analysis has shown the California
framework would only deliver about half of the consumer and
climate benefits of the original Obama standards and many groups
have called for tougher rules. Consumer Reports said it is
"urging the Biden administration to put much stronger standards
Dan Becker, Director, Safe Climate Transportation Campaign,
said the anticipated Biden emissions proposal is not expected to
go far enough.
"Biden is letting the car companies coast," Becker said.
"Longer term, the president must issue rules that phase out
sales of new gas-powered cars and SUVs and other light trucks by
General Motors Co last month said it backed the
vehicle emissions reductions outlined in the California deal but
asked the Biden administration to give automakers more
flexibility to hit the carbon reduction target between now and
Biden has steadfastly refused to back any specific date to
phase out the sale of gasoline powered passenger cars and
trucks. California said last year it plans to end the sale of
new gasoline powered vehicles by 2035.
"We need to eliminate the tailpipe pollution from new
passenger vehicles by 2035 if we hope to curb climate change
based on science and help ensure livable communities," said the
Environmental Defense Fund.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Richard Pullin)