A coalition of car manufacturers in the United States has told the Biden administration it would agree to raise mileage standards to reduce tailpipe emissions but with trade-offs and at rates lower than those brokered by California with five other car manufacturers. But environmental groups say the proposal doesn’t go far enough to slow climate change and that automakers have the technology to aim for the tougher Obama-era standards.
The discussed plan would give automakers credit for agreeing to stricter standards and selling more electric vehicles. The proposal would raise mileage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a rate between Trump’s rollback and standards brokered by California in a 2019 agreement with five automakers — Ford, Honda, BMW, Volkswagen and Volvo — that is now followed by 13 states. Most other automakers, including General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler (now Stellantis) backed Trump’s rollback. They’re among the automakers putting forward the new proposal. The companies had no official comment. The Trump rollback of the Obama-era standards would require a projected 29 miles per gallon in “real world” stop and start driving by 2026. That’s well below the requirements of the Obama administration rules that would have increased it to 37 mpg. The California deal with Ford and the other automakers has vehicles getting about 33 mpg on average.
In a letter to the White House late last month, two dozen environmental and green-friendly groups including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council urged acceptance of nothing less than the Obama standards as part of a longer-term path to make all new cars and light-duty trucks zero-emission by 2035. They described credits granted to automakers for electric vehicles as “loopholes” that do little to reduce emissions in the short term. “Not only are the automakers rejecting standards they agreed to 10 years ago, they are even refusing a weaker deal that five carmakers cut with California,” said Dan Becker, a director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
Auto industry urges emissions deal weaker than Obama’s, Associated Press, 2021-03-12