“The president has been clear to all of us — words matter, tone matters and civility matters,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.
His administration subverted that constitutional mandate by undermining core missions of the government.
The new president has shown a welcome interest in combating climate change. But more will need to be done.
President Biden’s pick to lead the E.P.A. knows how to reach out to Republicans, but in a polarized Washington, some worry he doesn’t know how to fight them.
The total federal civilian work force is slightly larger than four years ago, as a few agencies grew even as others shrank. In some places, morale also took a hit.
Every carmaker is trying to figure out how to make the leap before governments force it and Tesla and other start-ups lure away drivers.
Developers have promised affordable housing along Brooklyn’s toxic canal. But the rezoning could end up favoring luxury apartments.
As Brooklyn residents voiced concern, the Environmental Protection Agency said it appeared little toxic material had been released into the bay.
President Biden named nearly all of his cabinet secretaries and their immediate deputies before he took office, but his real grasp on the levers of power has come several layers down.
President Biden has chosen policymakers, while President Donald J. Trump valued cabinet secretaries he saw as deal makers.
President Biden has promised to reinstate more than 100 rules and regulations aimed at environmental protection that his predecessor rolled back. It won’t happen overnight.
One of the first official actions taken by President Joe Biden after his inauguration on January 20 means the almost-certain demise of a Trump-era plan to weaken future fuel efficiency regulations. Among Biden’s instructions to federal agencies was an “Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.”
This executive order tells federal agencies that environmental justice is a priority—one that will now be guided by scientific evidence. Additionally, the heads of each agency will have to review any regulations, policies, or other actions taken between January 20, 2017 and January 20, 2021 that are inconsistent with that goal. And there’s a particular call-out for the US Environmental Protection Agency’s recent actions to weaken US fuel efficiency standards over the coming few years, as well as the agency’s attempt to neuter California’s power to regulate air pollution.
The previous administration’s attack on clean air and fuel efficiency began almost immediately and culminated with a pair of actions over the past 16 months. In September 2019 the EPA announced that it was revoking a waiver that has allowed California to set and enforce its own tougher air pollution standards within the state’s borders. Then in March 2020 the EPA published a new fuel efficiency rule for passenger cars and light trucks for model years 2021-2026 that significantly weakened fleet efficiency targets mandated by the Obama administration.
On Thursday, Toyota reached a settlement with the US government over a decade of noncompliance with Clean Air Act reporting regulations. Under the law, defects or recalls that affect vehicle emissions equipment have to be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency.
But, says EPA assistant administrator Susan Bodine, “[f]or a decade Toyota failed to report mandatory information about potential defects in their cars to the EPA, keeping the agency in the dark and evading oversight. EPA considers this failure to be a serious violation of the Clean Air Act.”
Manufacturers are supposed submit emissions defect information reports if they know of an emissions defect that affects at least 25 or more vehicles (or engines) of a particular model in a given model year. They also have to submit voluntary emissions recall reports when beginning a recall to fix an emissions problem, as well as quarterly reports on the progress of the recall.
The E.P.A. has finalized a so-called transparency plan that it says will improve the credibility of science. Scientists say it is designed to stop new public health protections by limiting what research the agency can consider.
The legislation calls for cutting the use of powerful planet-warming chemicals common in air-conditioners and refrigerators.
The president-elect said he has chosen a team that prioritizes making clean energy jobs and environmental protection the cornerstone of his economic plans.
The outgoing administration is pushing through approval of corporate projects over the opposition of environmental groups and tribal communities.
Mr. Regan, a former air quality specialist at the Environmental Protection Agency, is secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality.
This is not a review of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Sport SUV.
A few weeks back, I spent two short hours in Ford’s upcoming EV. I don’t feel comfortable declaring a conclusion with just a couple of hours behind the wheel. I need more time with the Mach-E, and after Ford reads this article, I’ll probably be last in line for long-term tests.
During my short time with the Mach-E, one thing became clear: The Mach-E should not be called a Mustang, and it should not be called an SUV.
By calling the Mach-E a Mustang SUV, Ford is selling buyers an experience not found in the Mach-E. This isn’t a fight over semantics. The Mach-E isn’t a sporty SUV in a traditional manner. For that, look at the Audi E-Tron Sportback or Tesla Model X. Those offer several key characteristics missing from the Mach-E SUV. They’re sturdy, stout and powerful, whereas the Mach-E feels small, loose and sloppy.
There are several areas of concern. I found the vehicle dynamics questionable. The throttle is nauseating, and the rear end has a hard time keeping traction. The range is poor compared to competitors; the AWD version gets 50 miles less than a comparable Tesla. And what’s more important in an electric vehicle than driving characteristics and electric range?
A few weeks back I took a 2021 Mustang Mach-E AWD around a familiar route in lower Michigan. Every auto journalist knows this area by Hell, Michigan. Despite the name, it’s a lovely area with old-growth hardwoods lining gentle winding roads where cars can breathe. And for fun, turn off the main road for a bit of dipping and diving on gravel roads. This area was not kind to the Mach-E.
The test was short, but I was still left with several impressions.
The Mach-E bumbles around like an economy crossover. There’s nothing confident or reassuring about the ride or handling. Even with the Mustang name, the Mach-E doesn’t drive like a Mustang (hold your jokes; the latest Mustangs are fantastic). The Mach-E isn’t a car that can be thrown into a corner and expect to emerge safely. The body rolls, rear tires break loose and you lose respect for the Mustang name.
The throttle is touchy and over-expressive. Tap the peddle and Mach-E leaps forward. Combined with aggressive regenerative braking, the Mach-E takes some getting used to. I found the powertrain nauseating. Electric vehicles are an exercise in finesse. The electric motors need to provide power in a smooth, predictable fashion that’s exciting and confident without being overbearing. It’s a hard formula and something that few automakers have gotten right the first time.
I was immediately taken aback by the AWD Mach-E’s poor handling. Most modern EVs drive so well they’re boring. Not the Mach-E. The rear end is too lively for a pedestrian-vehicle, and not in a sporty manner. This is just sloppy and nauseating. The tires easily break free on everyday turns. Press down on the accelerator, turn the wheel and the vehicle often has to engage traction control to keep the rear wheels from spinning.
By insisting on marketing the Mach-E as sporty, Ford set the expectations on the capability outside of its technical ability. Things get loose when the driver leans into the performance aspects of the Mach-E. During my time with the Mach-E, there were several times I was rounding a normal corner and the back tires became unpredictable or took the car too wide. This is exaggerated with additional speed. I’m curious how the AWD system handles snow and ice. Several times during my test drive it struggled on gravel.
I later asked a Ford engineer about the tremendous amount of oversteer, and he replied, “Yeah, only if you drive it that way.” That stuck with me because I don’t think it was my fault. I don’t think I was driving the Mach-E around Ann Arbor, Michigan in an aggressive fashion, but even still, the roads were dry, and the traction control kicked on several times during my short drive. That shouldn’t happen.
The Mach-E performs better in a straight line. The acceleration is quick. With the go-pedal mashed to the floor, the Mach-E rears on its back legs and jumps forward with enthusiasm. Is it quicker than a Tesla? No, but it’s still quicker than most vehicles in its price range and plenty fast enough to speed away from a stop light.
The Mach-E has three driving modes. In the standard and economy mode, the throttle delivers power in a more refined method than the performance mode, which seems messy and crude. All three modes offer one-peddle driving through aggressive regenerative braking.
The electric range is another factor to consider with the Mach-E. The AWD version tops out at an EPA-estimated 270 miles compared to the 326 miles found in Tesla’s AWD Model Y. The RWD-only version of the Mach-E tops out at 300 miles per charge.
With such a short test, I’m unable to dive deep into the real-world battery range of the Mach-E. I need to live with the car and use it for a variety of tasks, both around town and long distance. All I can report is the results from my 2 hour drive: I average 2.7 miles to kilowatt-hour, I returned it with 112 miles remaining on the battery, which the vehicle says is 56%. I was driving the AWD model with the extended range battery. The EPA and Ford says this version is good for 270 miles per charge.
The Mach-E’s pricing is competitive with a starting price of $42,895. The AWD, extended-range version starts at $54,700 and heads north depending on options. Most U.S. buyers are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit. The Tesla Model 3 starts at $37,990. The long-range, AWD Model 3 that starts at $46,990; the Model Y crossover costs $49,990.
The Mach-E’s interior is fantastic, and that was not a surprise. Ford builds some of the nicest interiors in its class, and the inside of the Mach-E is lovely.
Like most EVs, Ford took great steps to replace traditional automotive components with modern equivalents. Instead of a gauge cluster, a small, narrow LCD screen sits in front of the driver. It’s classy and efficient. A large LCD screen sits in the center stack for media playback and climate controls. A rotating knob is glued onto the screen at the bottom and provides physical volume control. I really like the volume knob.
The seats seem fine. I was only in them for two hours.
The inside is a bit cramped, but it’s acceptable for a small crossover. The driver sits in a commanding position, which could be the reason for the SUV designation. Two adults can sit in the back for a cross-town jaunt, but I wouldn’t want to sit back there for an extended amount of time, as legroom is lacking.
I’m frustrated about the vehicle’s dynamics, which overshadow fun features found within the Mach-E. Owners can use their smartphone as a key and preprogram navigation routes through a robust road-trip app. The doors are operated by a button, allowing for a cleaner exterior. Ford is even adding hands-free driving through an over-the-air-update, too. But these items hardly matters. Who cares if the cake’s pretty if it tastes like sadness?
My first impressions of the Mach-E are poor, and I went into this short test with excited optimism. For me, this Ford Mach-E was supposed to bring the joy of electric vehicles to the masses through a familiar nameplate and legacy manufacturer. I’m a Ford guy who lives in Michigan and looks at the Mach-E development with local pride. I’m disappointed.
Right now, based on first impressions, I can only recommend shoppers try competitors before buying the Ford Mustang Mach-E. I don’t think this vehicle is good enough to buy over a Tesla.
The president-elect’s transition team is scrambling to find a new candidate for the E.P.A. after advocates objected to Mary D. Nichols.
There is progress to be made on policies most Americans support.
By lowering the value of pollution controls in health and safety calculations, the Trump administration appears to be moving to safeguard its deregulation efforts in court.
Health experts say the E.P.A. decision defies scientific research showing that particulate pollution contributes to tens of thousands of premature deaths annually.
Two former workers claim New York Waterway fouled the river with unfiltered waste from boats’ toilets. The firm denies the allegations.
President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s energy and environment team will have the difficult task of crafting climate policies that can bypass Congress and survive judicial review.
I remember the first time someone rolled coal on me. It was 2006, and I was driving to work at the University of Kentucky. It was a bright, sunny day in Lexington, and I had the roof down and was stopped in traffic behind a large pickup truck with decidedly non-standard exhaust pipes exiting straight up behind the cab. Whoever was driving the pickup evidently noticed the Miata in his mirror and enveloped me in a thick cloud of soot when the lights changed.
As automotive subcultures go, intentionally modifying your truck’s diesel engine to make extra pollution is one of the more antisocial ones out there. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, diesel trucks with disabled emissions controls are far more widespread than you might think and emit more pollution than the diesel engines that got Volkswagen such hefty fines.
In 2016, Volkswagen agreed to a pair of court settlements totaling nearly $16 billion after it was caught selling diesel vehicles fitted with emissions defeat devices. In total, the VW scandal affected more than half a million cars and SUVs sold in the US, which produced up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides (NOx) when in daily operation.
Lists of names of those the president-elect is said to be considering are flying across Washington, prompting lawmakers and interest groups to raise questions about some top contenders.
As President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency rushes to complete its regulatory rollbacks, agency staff, emboldened by the Biden victory, moves to stand in the way.
On Wednesday, Volkswagen announced that its forthcoming electric vehicle now has an official range. The US Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that the ID.4 crossover will travel 250 miles (402km) on a single charge.
At launch, the ID.4 will only be available in two configurations; the 1st Edition, and the ID.4 Pro. Both of these use a single motor-generator unit that drives the rear wheels and an 82kWh lithium-ion battery. However, we believe that only 77kWh is usable. The EPA also rated the ID.4 at a combined 104mpge in the city, 89mpge on the highway, and a combined 97mpge.
For comparison, the extended-range, rear wheel drive Ford Mustang Mach-E we wrote about on Monday, which has an EPA range of 300 miles (483km), comes packed with 98.9kWh. Tesla does not publish the kWh capacity of its battery packs—there’s belief that for model year 2021 this will be 82kWh total capacity, like the ID.4—but the EPA has rated the long-range Model Y crossover at 326 miles (524km).
An E.P.A. investigation has found that the owners of more than half a million diesel pickup trucks have installed devices to defeat emissions controls and boost pollution.
General Motors said it would no longer back President Trump’s lawsuit seeking to strip California of the power to set fuel economy standards.
Andrew Wheeler, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, looks to squeeze in two overseas trips in the Trump administration’s last days.
Andrew Wheeler, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, looks to squeeze in two overseas trips in the Trump administration’s last days.
A long-awaited dredging of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, a Superfund site, has begun in earnest. It may not be finished for at least a decade.
Where do CDs go to die?
With the president’s re-election in doubt, cabinet departments are scrambling to finish dozens of new rules affecting millions of Americans.
Downplaying the dangers of the pandemic and politicizing public health measures was grossly negligent and cost untold lives.
A new report finds an “alarming” drop in prosecutions over violations of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, fundamental environmental laws.
The demise of coal-fired power plants in Arizona and Kentucky shows how the president, despite promises to restore jobs, failed to counter the forces decimating the industry.
The E.P.A. will tout a new rule on testing lead in drinking water as President Trump’s latest environmental achievement, but water experts see only modest improvements at best.
The agency’s new assessment directly contradicts federal scientists’ conclusions five years ago that chlorpyrifos can stunt brain development in young children.
PFAS, industrial chemicals used to waterproof jackets and grease-proof fast-food containers, may disrupt pregnancy with lasting effects.
The president has painted New York as an “anarchist jurisdiction,” but his administration’s threats to withhold funds are being dismissed as a politicized campaign tactic.
Battery prices are dropping faster than expected. Analysts are moving up projections of when an electric vehicle won’t need government incentives to be cheaper than a gasoline model.
In 2020 it seems more usual to read about the US Environmental Protection Agency rolling back pollution laws or arguing that big business should be allowed to do what it wants. But apparently the agency does occasionally work as intended. Earlier this week, together with the US Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board, it held Daimler AG—parent company to Mercedes-Benz—accountable for selling diesel vehicles fitted with emissions defeat devices.
EPA and CARB found that all was not right with the Daimler’s diesel engines in the wake of the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal. EPA told Daimler it was going to conduct some additional tests of the company’s four- and six-cylinder diesel engines “using driving cycles and conditions that may reasonably be expected to be encountered in normal operation and use, for the purposes of investigating a potential defeat device.”
In doing so, it discovered several auxiliary emission control devices that were not described in the homologation paperwork submitted by Daimler. In total, about 160,000 Sprinter vans and about 90,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles are affected, between model years 2009 and 2016.
A president who has mocked climate change and pushed policies that accelerate it is set to be briefed on the scorched earth and ash-filled skies that experts say are the predictable result.
I wish it were a fever dream in my Covid-clouded mind. But, no, our president believes empathy, like patriotic sacrifice, is for suckers.
If climate change was a somewhat abstract notion a decade ago, today it is all too real for Californians fleeing wildfires and smothered in a blanket of smoke, the worst year of fires on record.
The next president can undo some of the recent efforts to weaken environmental protections. But it’ll take work.
The Environmental Protection Agency this week finalized a rule that kills off Obama-era limitations on how much methane, a potent greenhouse gas, oil and natural gas producers are allowed to emit into the atmosphere—even though industry leaders didn’t want the changes.
The changes to the rules, known as the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), remove some segments of the industry from being covered under the existing standards at all, and these changes also lift the methane caps on other segments, the EPA announced on Thursday.
The oil and gas industry basically splits into three big buckets of activity: upstream, meaning the actual drilling for oil or gas; midstream, which is the world of storage and pipelines; and downstream, that last mile where products are refined and sold. The current changes apply to the downstream and midstream segments, as the EPA broke down in a graphic (PDF).