Joe Biden may revise vehicle emission rules, invites ire from environmentalists
Joe Biden administration's planned revision to the US vehicle emission rules has been slammed by several environmental groups that feel the move from the US president is not aggressive enough to bring down pollution being caused by vehicles in the country. Some of these groups even accuse Biden of giving car makers an easy route at a time when the manufacturers, they say, ought to be made to proactively plan an end to sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines.
The US' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are currently studying former US President Donald Trump's reversal of fuel economy standards that mandated a 1.5% annual increases in efficiency through 2026. This was significantly lower than the 5% set by Barack Obama in 2012, when he was the US president.
Biden administration has been urged to have a stronger figure but it may not be an easy ask. Many feel that the US government has to play a fine balancing act between what car makers can achieve and what is needed to proactively fight vehicular emissions. Some like GM want more flexibility when it comes to achieving carbon reduction targets.
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Biden has so far backed away from setting out a date from which there would be a ban on sale of diesel and gasoline (petrol) vehicles in the US. This is something that many countries in EU have already done to showcase their commitment in the battle against climate change.
And while it may be true that Biden has put his weight behind electric vehicles, it may not be enough as sale of large SUVs and pick-up trucks - complete with internal combustion engines - is steadily rising in the country. "We need to eliminate the tailpipe pollution from new passenger vehicles by 2035 if we hope to curb climate change based on science and help ensure livable communities," said the Environmental Defense Fund.
(With inputs from Reuters)