EPA Issues Strongest Emissions Regulations Yet for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

The new regulations are part of the Biden administration’s bid to accelerate the manufacture and adoption of electric vehicles.

The Biden administration announced on March 29 strict regulations for heavy-duty vehicles that would affect bus and freight truck models for 2027 until 2032, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The agency said this development will avoid up to 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades and provide $13 billion in net benefits in the form of fewer hospital visits, lost work days, and deaths.

The new standards will especially benefit an estimated 72 million people in the United States who live near freight routes used by trucks and other heavy vehicles and bear a disproportionate burden of dangerous air pollution, according to the EPA.

“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 S. 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.”

Some stakeholders expressed support for the new standards.

“The EPA’s new heavy-duty emissions rule is challenging, but Ford is working aggressively to meet the moment. Our industry is making important progress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in both light- and heavy-duty vehicles,” said Cynthia Williams, Ford Motor Company’s global director for sustainability, in a statement.

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“We also need policymakers to pair emission standards with incentives and public investment so that we can continue to deliver on the next generation of vehicles and for our nation to lead the future of this industry,” she continued.

“Ultimately, the successful transition of the commercial vehicle industry is dependent on the availability of reliable zero emission charging and refueling infrastructure and the ability to conduct business at a reasonable cost of ownership,” said Sean Waters, vice president of product integrity for Daimler Truck North America.

But not everyone is on board with the new EPA regulations.

Truckers Sound the Alarm

The American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represent large swaths of the industry, predicted supply chain failures and said that smaller independent firms would likely hang onto older diesel trucks that spew more pollution, running counter to the EPA’s goals.

The new limits lower zero-emission sales rates proposed for the 2027 through 2029 model years but require higher sales later, resulting in a practical mandate for electric and hydrogen-powered trucks, the trucking associations said in a statement. The EPA rule limits choices for trucks and buses to unproven technology, the group said.

“The post-2030 targets remain entirely unachievable,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. “Any regulation that fails to account for the operational realities of trucking will set the industry and America’s supply chain up for failure.”

Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents small trucking companies, said the Biden administration “seems dead-set on regulating every local mom-and-pop business out of existence with its flurry of unworkable environmental mandates.”

The American Petroleum Institute, the top lobbying group for the oil and gas industry, said in a joint statement with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers that the new rule “is yet another example of the Biden administration’s whole-of-government effort to eliminate choices for American consumers, businesses and industries.’’

The latest EPA announcement comes a week after the agency issued new rules on March 20 for automobiles aimed at cutting carbon emissions and boosting both hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs).

The new regulations amount to the toughest-ever limits on tailpipe emissions, part of the Biden administration’s bid to accelerate the manufacture and adoption of EVs.

This affects passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty vehicles produced starting in 2027.

The regulations, according to the EPA, would cut 7.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions through 2055 in addition to providing “nearly $100 billion of annual net benefits to society, including $13 billion of annual public health benefits due to improved air quality, and $62 billion in reduced annual fuel costs, and maintenance and repair costs for drivers.”

The EPA said that under its final rule, the industry could meet the limits if 56 percent of new vehicle sales are electric by 2032, along with at least 13 percent plug-in hybrids or other partially electric cars, and gasoline-powered vehicles that get more miles to the gallon.

That would mean a huge increase over current EV sales, which rose to 7.6 percent of new vehicle sales last year, up from 5.8 percent in 2022.

This week and last week’s announcements from the EPA exemplify the Biden administration’s aggressive green agenda, as climate change has been a top priority for the White House since President Joe Biden took office on Jan. 20, 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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