US Attorneys General clash over EPA emissions plan

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WASHINGTON, July 6 (Reuters) – A group of 25 Republican state attorneys general on Thursday urged President Joe Biden’s administration to abandon plans to drastically reduce vehicle exhaust emissions, while a group of Democratic counterparts from 20 states he called for tougher requirements.

The Environmental Protection Agency in April proposed new standards for 2027-2032 vehicles that would be the most dramatic reductions in history. The EPA estimates that to meet the new standards, automakers would need to have 60% of new EV production by 2030 and 67% by 2032.

The rules would cut emissions by 56% from existing 2026 requirements to speed up the transition from petrol engines to electric vehicles. EPA is expected to finalize the proposal by spring 2024.

The agency expects the rules will reduce more than 9 billion tons of CO2 emissions by 2055, hoping to mitigate catastrophic climate change and save consumers billions in fuel costs. Republicans say it will have broad negative consequences such as higher consumer vehicle prices, limited choice and strain on the electric grid.

Democratic attorneys general in New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and other states have said the EPA should go further. “Tight emission standards are now needed to avoid the worst impacts of human-induced climate change,” they said, along with officials from six cities including the District of Columbia, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

Republican attorneys general, led by Daniel Cameron of Kentucky and Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, said the EPA proposal was “illegal and misguided” and would “hurt our economy, tax our electric grids and tax households and businesses that depend on them and would threaten our national economy”. safety.”

Environmental and public health groups are pressuring the administration not to water down its proposal. The American Lung Association, American Medical Association and other health groups have said that EPA should adopt more stringent standards to “protect regional air quality, address disparities in pollution loads, and reduce population health impacts.” climate crisis”.

Several Republican state attorneys general are suing the EPA over the 2021 reinstatement of Obama-era standards that were rescinded under Republican former President Donald Trump. Those lawsuits are pending.

Last week, the trade group representing nearly every major automaker said it wanted the EPA to soften its proposal to drastically reduce vehicle emissions, saying it was “neither reasonable nor feasible.”

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, representing General Motors (GM.N), Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), Toyota (7203.T), Hyundai (005380.KS) and others, has recommended “adopt requirements for the 40- 50% (electric, plug-in and fuel electric vehicles) in 2030 with continued increases through 2032.”

The group called the proposal a “de facto mandate for battery electric vehicles” and noted that EVs will account for about 6 percent of new light-duty vehicle sales in 2022. The American Petroleum Institute this week finalized the plan ” a de facto ban on vehicles using petrol.”

Mazda (7261.T) separately said it was concerned about the “extraordinary severity” of the rule, while Ford Motor (FN) said the EPA should “avoid setting emissions requirements that compel unnecessarily large or ill-timed investments.” .

Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis, Leslie Adler and David Gregorio

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

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