Biden to unveil executive order at the White House alongside representatives from Ford, GM and Stellantis, and members of the United Auto Workers Union. Automakers are expected to back Biden’s goal, announcing their “common aspiration” that 40 to 50 percent of their cars sold by 2030 be electric vehicles, according to a joint statement from the three automakers.
“This is a paradigm shift,” a senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday. “What we are hearing across the board is a consensus on where this industry is heading and a rally around the recognition that this is the moment of truth, not just for climate action for economic action. also.”
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation will also announce that they are reversing a cut in Trump-era fuel emission standards, according to a draft statement obtained by CNN. New standards proposed by agencies for light vehicles will be 10% stricter than Trump-era rules for 2023 model year vehicles, then becoming 5% more stringent each year. The agencies are also expected to announce a separate set of regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions for heavy trucks.
By 2026, the proposed standards would be the most stringent federal greenhouse gas standards in U.S. history, the agencies say, but they have yet to set a target number for the standards.
Biden’s announcement is important to his administration’s climate goals, as transportation accounted for 29% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.
“It is an important sector of the economy,” the senior administration official told CNN on Wednesday. “Transportation emissions account for the largest share of emissions in the economy. It is a central part of the president’s climate agenda to tackle emissions into space, and it is a central part of his economic agenda for help us develop our leadership in electric vehicles, to grow the good union jobs that come with it. ”
Still, some conservationists fear automakers will sidestep standards with loopholes – including allowances for electric vehicle makers like Tesla to sell credits to companies that sell gas-guzzling cars, allowing them to meet standards without electrifying their fleets. Asked by CNN about the impact of the new standards on these regulatory credits, the official said, “The rules provide a trajectory on credits on which agencies will comment.”
Lawyers too called on Biden to implement stronger broadcasts standards, rather than calling on automakers to meet targets.
“President Biden has called global warming an existential threat, but these standards will not protect us,” Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Transport Campaign at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “The only reason automakers have cut pollution is because strict rules force them to do so. And those rules won’t.”
Youth climate group Sunrise Movement has sharply criticized Biden’s electric vehicle goal, saying it is not enough to tackle the climate crisis.
“Biden cannot see himself as the climate chairman with a 50% electric vehicle target,” Sunrise executive director Varshini Prakash said in a statement. “FDR did not set a goal of winning the war halfway, and JFK did not set a goal of going halfway to the moon. If we are still selling gasoline cars in 2030, they will be on the road for another 10, 15, 20 years – long after his presidency and well into our already unstable future. ”
UAW President Ray Curry urged Congress to pass more funds for electric vehicles, as well as tougher labor protections like the PRO Act, which would strengthen unions’ ability to form and bargain.
“UAW members, current and future, stand ready to build these electric cars and trucks and the batteries that go into them,” Curry said in a statement. “Our members are America’s secret weapon in winning this global race.”
Like the UAW, U.S. automakers have called on Biden and Congress to invest more in building electric vehicles infrastructure and incentives in its upcoming reconciliation bill – calling for a comprehensive network of electric vehicle charging stations and purchasing incentives for consumers.
“This represents a radical change compared to the American market today, which can only be achieved with the timely deployment of all the electrification policies to which the administration is committed within the framework of of the Build Back Better plan, ”Ford, GM and Stellantis said in the statement. declaration.