Biden Administration Imposes New Fuel Efficiency Regulations, Aiming For ‘Zero-Emissions Future’

President Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) imposed a new set of ambitious fuel efficiency regulations, reversing a rule set by former President Donald Trump and setting the stage to put more electric cars on the road.

The new EPA regulations require all new cars and light-duty vehicles to achieve an average fuel efficiency standard of 40 miles per gallon. This is a slight increase from the 38 miles per gallon standard the EPA suggested in its original proposal and an increase of 8 miles per gallon from the rule imposed by former President Trump’s EPA in 2020.

“Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing the most ambitious federal greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks ever,” The EPA wrote in a press release announcing the rules. “The final standards, for Model Years (MY) 2023 through 2026, leverage advances in clean car technology to unlock $190 billion in net benefits to Americans, including reducing climate pollution, improving public health, and saving drivers money at the pump.”

“EPA is planning to initiate a separate rulemaking to establish multi-pollutant emission standards under the Clean Air Act for MY 2027 and later that will speed the transition of the light-duty vehicle fleet toward a zero-emissions future consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order, ‘Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks.’”

The EPA also makes clear that the standards are meant to increase the number of electric cars on the road in the coming years. “EPA’s analysis shows manufacturers can comply with the final standards with modest increases in the numbers of electric vehicles entering the fleet. By MY 2026, EPA projects that the final standards can be met with sales of about 17 percent electric vehicles (EVs), and wider uptake of advanced gasoline engine and vehicle technologies available today,” the press release said.

“As the GHG standards get stronger over four years, sales of EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles will grow from about 7 percent market share in MY 2023 to about 17 percent in MY 2026, the agency projects. These increasing levels of EVs will position the United States to achieve aggressive GHG emissions reductions from transportation over the long term.”

The EPA’s new fuel efficiency standard comes amid concern over skyrocketing gas prices around the country. The current national average price for a gallon of gas sits at about $3.31 per gallon, according to AAA, an increase of about $1.09 since last year. Prices at the pump were $1.25 higher year-over-year in October, as The Daily Wire reported, with one energy industry CEO warning that oil is “headed higher.”

Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also argued that the solution to higher gas prices was the proliferation of electric vehicles. In an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart, Buttigieg championed a provision in the “Build Back Better” bill that would give families a tax credit for buying an electric vehicle, arguing that “once they own that vehicle, [they] will never have to worry about gas prices again.”

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