Washington (December 20, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, released the following statement today in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule for the National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Passenger Cars and Light Trucks through 2026. On November 5, 2021, Senators Markey, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), along with Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06) led a letter to the Biden administration that urged the EPA to strengthen its proposed vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards and choose the most stringent alternative, as well as ensure that all credits actually produce real-world emissions benefits. Today, the Biden administration announced that it is finalizing a rule that is stronger than its original proposal, which will result in a 55-mpg equivalent standard for light duty vehicles by 2025—compared to the earlier proposed standard of 52 miles per gallon—and which will close some of the compliance loopholes that would have weakened the overall standard.
“These updated and strengthened vehicle emission standards take an overdue and necessary step forward in addressing the long-term harm done by the Trump administration. This rule will reduce dangerous climate pollution, while also saving consumers money on gas and protecting public health,” said Senator Markey. “I’m glad to see the EPA heeded my call to increase its ambition beyond the original proposal and issued a stronger final rule that will result in more savings and more climate benefits. But we must continue to raise the bar even further, particularly for the next cycle of vehicle standards. We are past the time to slowly coast forward on climate action—we need to put the pedal to the emissions-reducing metal announced today.”
The November 2021 letter also was signed by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). In March 2021, Senator Markey and Rep. Matsui were joined by their colleagues in letters to President Biden urging the administration to reset ambitious fuel economy and vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards, using the Obama-era standards as a baseline.