Date: August 6, 2021
Source: News Room
The Biden Administration announced an ambitious target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles to slash GHG emissions from transportation. The executive order and proposed rule issued on Aug.5, will include trucks and long-term light-duty standards. But neither the proposal nor the executive order mentions a role for biofuels in reducing GHGs or conventional air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx). That omission drew fire from various industry groups.
EPA proposes a major 10 percent increase in the stringency of GHG emissions for 2023 vehicles and 5 percent for the years after. By 2026, the emissions standards would translate to a fleetwide rating of 52 miles per gallon for 2026 vehicles, according to EPA's analysis. The current proposal covers vehicles from model year 2023-2026, after which EPA plans a more "robust" GHG rule.
The American Coalition for Ethanol cited data showing that electric vehicles alone cannot reach GHG reduction goals. Clean fuels are also needed. "Pledges to make more electric vehicles in the future will do little to reduce GHG emissions until and unless the way we generate electricity in the U.S. undergoes expensive and prolonged changes," said Brian Jennings, CEO of ACE. "Meanwhile, nearly 100 percent of all U.S. light-duty vehicles on the road today use liquid fuels. Scientists indicate corn ethanol is already 50 percent cleaner than gasoline," he added.
The Renewable Fuels Association said ethanol is available now and can jump-start decarbonization efforts. "Even if half of new vehicles sold in 2030 are electric, four out of every five cars on the road that year will still have internal combustion engines that require liquid fuels," said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA.
Separately, EPA and NHTSA are working to restore California's waiver to restore its regulatory authority over vehicles sold in the state. That was stripped away by the Trump administration eager to prevent a patchwork of standards developed there and now in 14 other states that have followed suit.
EPA Fact sheet: Revised 2023 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards: Regulatory Update (https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2021-08/420r21056.pdf).
See also: FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Steps to Drive American Leadership Forward on Clean Cars and Trucks (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/08/05/fact-sheet-president-biden-announces-steps-to-drive-american-leadership-forward-on-clean-cars-and-trucks/).