Energy & Environment

81 Democrats call on Biden administration to pursue tighter climate standards for heavy-duty vehicles

More than 80 Democrats are calling on the Biden administration to set emissions restrictions on heavy-duty vehicles that are more stringent than what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing. 

In a Tuesday letter to the agency, the senators and House members said the EPA’s proposed regulations are not strict enough.

“We encourage EPA to finalize standards that go beyond the current proposal,” the lawmakers wrote.

They particularly cited an agreement between California and major engine manufacturers to reach zero-emission truck sales in the state by 2036. 

“EPA’s proposed standards assume only 25% clean truck sales in the mid-2030s, which is now less than what the manufacturers have committed to supply, even when averaged across the nation,” the lawmakers wrote.

Reached for comment, an EPA spokesperson said the agency has “received the letter and will review and respond accordingly.” 

The EPA in April proposed a climate rule for heavy-duty vehicles, like trucks and buses, alongside a new rule for electric cars that sets limits for tailpipe emissions from fleets of such vehicles.

The standards are expected to push manufacturers to make a greater share of their vehicles electric to comply. 

While the lawmakers, alongside environmental activists, said the standards for trucks are not strict enough, Republicans have criticized the EPA’s proposed rules as an effort to “commandeer America’s transportation sector and force its complete vehicle electrification under the guise of mitigating climate change.”

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