Automakers Support EPA’s Tailpipe Emissions Standard That EMA Is Challenging In Court; New Standard Announced

A trade group representing the major domestic and foreign automobile manufacturers filed a motion supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a lawsuit currently before the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the agency’s strict new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.

[NOTE: On Friday, the Biden Administration announced a new mileage standard– new vehicles must average 40 mpg by 2026, up from 24 mpg.  Read more here.]

The proposed standard applies to cars and light trucks and requires automakers to achieve a fleet wide average of 52 miles per gallon by 2026, up from the current 38 mpg standard.

EPA estimates the new standards will reduce fuel demand by 361 billion gallons leading to a 15 percent annual reduction in the nation’s gasoline consumption.

The lawsuit challenging the EPA’s new tailpipe emission rule was brought by the Energy Marketers of America, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, 15 States– Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah, and other groups.

Since tailpipe emissions rules pertain to the average mileage per gallon of all vehicles sold by an automaker, stringent standards are designed to force auto companies to sell more electric cars to offset the sales of conventional pickup trucks, sports utility vehicles and other models that get low mileage.

The new tailpipe rule is a first step in President Biden’s push to rapidly shift American drivers to “so called” zero-emission electric vehicles that still need power from natural gas and coal.

The administration has set a goal for electric vehicles to make up 50 percent of all new car sales by 2030. That will be difficult to meet considering that electric cars made up just 4 percent of U.S. sales in 2021.

However, a significant step towards that goal was taken last month, when Congress passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that included $7.5 billion to install 500,000 electric charging stations nationwide.

The president also signed an executive order requiring the federal government to purchase only zero-emission cars and trucks by 2035.

Meanwhile, the EPA is working on a future tailpipe emission standard for vehicles built in model year 2027 and beyond that would compel automakers to significantly ramp up sales of electric vehicles.

The EPA hopes to publish a draft in 2022 and to complete it before the end of 2024.

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