Today EPA released final limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs for model years 2023 to 2026. The rule reverses the Trump administration’s harmful rollback of these standards, which are essential to restoring the Chesapeake Bay and fighting climate change. It is also more stringent than what EPA proposed in August.
Tough vehicle emissions limits are indispensable to combating climate change. Transportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in the United States, accounting for 29 percent, according to EPA. Passenger cars and trucks are responsible for more than half of all U.S. transportation emissions.
Climate change effects such as rising seas, more frequent and intense storms, and warmer waters already cause widespread economic and physical damage in the Bay region and around the country. Communities of color and low-income communities from Virginia’s rural Eastern Shore to struggling neighborhoods in Baltimore City and Harrisburg are often the hardest hit and least able to respond.
The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint spells out the pollution cuts needed to help save the Bay. EPA, the states, and the District of Columbia have until 2025 to implement the practices needed to achieve them. CBF opposed the Trump rule because it undermined EPA’s nitrogen-reduction commitment, which is based on more stringent standards.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Federal Executive Director Denise Stranko released the following statement about the new standards:
“CBF is pleased EPA chose the strongest emissions limits from the options it proposed in August, as we and our coalition partners recommended.
“The new tailpipe standards put us back on the right path after the Trump administration’s dangerous U-turn. But the immediacy of the climate crisis and protecting the health of the Bay and its tributaries demand the next set of standards do more.
“CBF calls on the Biden administration to propose even tougher, game-changing clean car standards for model year 2027 and beyond. That will be crucial in tackling the urgent threat of climate change, improving water quality in our rivers and streams, and protecting environmental justice communities in the Bay region and around the country.”
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