WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced proposed federal emissions standards aimed at accelerating the move to electric cars and trucks. Once adopted, the standards are expected to create a massive improvement in air pollution across the nation, particularly in smog-choked cities like Los Angeles.
The proposals would ward off nearly 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions -- the equivalent of more than twice the total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2022, the EPA announced in a news release. The proposed standards would reduce premature deaths and hospital admissions due to respiratory and heart illnesses. America's reliance on foreign oil would drop by approximately 20 billion barrels of oil under the new standards, the EPA added.
The proposed standards align with commitments made by automakers and U.S. states as they plan to accelerate clean vehicle technologies in American light- and medium-duty fleets in the next 10 to 15 years, the EPA said. Companies have committed more than $120 billion in electric vehicle and battery development and manufacturing since Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law last year, the EPA said.
The EPA released two different sets of proposals aimed at vehicles built for model years 2027 and later. The first set of proposed standards is aimed at light- and medium-duty vehicles. Between 2027 and 2055, these car and truck standards are expected to avoid 7.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the EPA estimates -- equivalent to eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions from the entire current U.S. transportation sector for four years.
For gas-burning vehicles, the standards are expected to drive widespread use of filters to reduce gasoline particulate matter emissions and spur greater deployment of carbon dioxide-reducing technologies for gasoline-powered vehicles, the EPA said. But the proposed standards are also expected to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, which could account for 67 percent of new light-duty vehicle sales and 46 percent of new medium-duty vehicle sales by model year 2032, the EPA projects.
The second set of proposed standards would apply to heavy-duty vehicles like freightliners, delivery trucks, garbage haulers, public utility trucks, and buses for transit, shuttle, and schools. The heavy-duty proposal is projected to avoid 1.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide through 2055, equivalent to eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions from the entire current U.S. transportation sector for a year, the EPA says.