Biden's EPA finalizes 'strongest ever' emission standards for freight trucks, buses

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The Biden administration's Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it finalized the "strongest ever greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty vehicles," including freight trucks and buses.

A recent press release from the agency explained that the new restrictions will impact vehicles for model years 2027 through 2032.

"The standards will avoid 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and provide $13 billion in annualized net benefits to society related to public health, the climate, and savings for truck owners and operators. The final standards will also reduce dangerous air pollution, especially for the 72 million people in the United States who live near truck freight routes, bear the burden of higher levels of pollution, and are more likely to be people of color or come from low-income households," the EPA claimed.

According to the agency, the strict standards will still grant trucking companies the "time and flexibility" to comply with the new restrictions.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan stated that the emission standards would "significantly cut pollution from the hardest working vehicles on the road."

"Building on our recently finalized rule for light- and medium-duty vehicles, EPA's strong and durable vehicle standards respond to the urgency of the climate crisis by making deep cuts in emissions from the transportation sector," Regan added.

The EPA announced last week the "strongest-ever" vehicle emission standards for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty vehicles for model years 2027 through 2032, Blaze News previously reported. It claimed the clampdown would "avoid more than 7 billion tons of carbon emissions and provide nearly $100 billion of annual net benefits to society, including $13 billion of annual public health benefits due to improved air quality, and $62 billion in reduced annual fuel costs, and maintenance and repair costs for drivers."

Republicans, who are largely opposed to the EPA's new plan, called the standards on passenger vehicles an electric vehicle "mandate."

Regan denied the claims, stating that the emission regulations are "clearly" not an EV mandate because there are "multiple pathways companies can choose to comply."

The American Trucking Association, a national trade group for the trucking industry, slammed the EPA's restrictions as "entirely unachievable given the current state of zero-emission technology, the lack of charging infrastructure & restrictions on the power grid."

"We are fully committed to the road to zero emissions, but the path to get there must be paved with commonsense," the ATA continued in a post on X. "While we are disappointed with today's rule, we will continue to work with EPA to address its shortcomings and advance emission-reduction targets and timelines that are both realistic and durable, and that account for the operational realities of our industry."

In addition to freight trucks, the emission standards will also impact school buses, delivery trucks, garbage trucks, utility trucks, shuttles, ambulances, recreational vehicles, and moving vans.

Under the EPA's new rules, approximately 25% of long-haul freight trucks and 40% of medium-sized trucks could be zero-emission vehicles by 2032.

Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers' Association, told the New York Times that the EPA's restrictions will hit small business owners the hardest.

"This administration seems dead set on regulating every local mom-and-pop business out of existence with its flurry of unworkable environmental mandates," Spencer said.

The Department of Energy released an energy grid plan earlier this month to build the infrastructure for electric- and hydrogen-powered long-haul freight trucks. The administration's strategy involves installing charging and refueling stations along 12,000 miles of high-traffic roads over a 16-year period.

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