President Biden is planning to reinstate Obama-era fuel standards over the next five years before implementing even more stringent rules, the Associated Press reported. The move, which could come as soon as next week, would undo a Trump administration rollback of tailpipe emissions standards set under former President Obama. Under that standard, automakers were required to raise fuel economy 5% per year from 2021 through 2026. The Biden administration says the new requirements for carmakers would start in 2023, ramp up to the Obama-era level by 2025, and then go even higher for model year 2026. The administration also hopes 40% of all new car sales will be electric vehicles by 2030, but there is currently no enforcement mechanism to meet that goal.
Under the Obama-era standards, automakers got double credit toward meeting their fuel economy and pollution requirements for fully electric vehicles, but it’s unclear whether Biden will reinstate that program, which was ended by Trump. While the new standards would be a major step in cutting current climate-warming emissions, some think the proposal does not go far enough. “The world isn’t the same as it was in 2012 when President Obama signed the clean car standards,” said Katherine Garcia, acting director of Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign. “Millions of Americans have had to swelter in heat waves, evacuate their homes in the face of onrushing wildfires, or bail out flooded homes.” (Associated Press, Independent, Reuters)