The Inflation Reduction Act may be the single-most important piece of climate legislation in American history.
The Senate’s proposal aims to accelerate electric car sales and promote domestic battery manufacturing at China’s expense.
Yet it’s suffering badly from warming.
A gallon has jumped by about 50 cents over the last month as Russia’s war in Ukraine has continued to unsettle the global energy market.
When prices soared years ago, Americans launched broad efforts to wean the nation off oil and gas to protect households from price swings. But then supply rose and plans fizzled.
A major new scientific report offers a road map for how countries can limit global warming, but warns that the margin for error is vanishingly small.
Current pledges to cut emissions, even if nations follow through on them, won’t stop temperatures from rising to risky new levels.
A plan to purchase up to 165,000 gasoline-powered mail trucks instead of electric models has angered Democrats and the Biden administration.
The state is expected to write strict auto pollution standards designed to significantly speed the transition to electric vehicles and influence new federal rules.
Booming in a depressed market, battery-powered vehicles are a plus for the climate but pose a big threat to carmakers and parts suppliers that are slow to change.
To meet his climate goals, the president must clean up these carbon-spewing vehicles.
Under the new plan, designed to reduce planet-warming tailpipe emissions, new vehicles would be required to average 55 miles per gallon starting in 2026.
Time is running down rapidly for the nations of the world to get control of their emissions.
The country’s energy inefficiency and dependence on climate-damaging coal threaten to damage its image as a reliable manufacturing base.
Legislation aimed at infrastructure and social programs also includes big changes in energy, transportation and disaster preparation. They would amount to the most significant climate action ever taken by the United States.
A compelling commercial to sell electric trucks leaves out planetary responsibility. Is this really good news?
Vehicle makers shy away from traditional materials that are hard to recycle, like leather and plastics, and look to repurpose alternatives that still convey quality.
Many Republicans vying to replace Newsom as governor want to roll back the state’s ambitious plans to cut planet-warming emissions, a change with nationwide implications.
A push to increase sales of electric vehicles favors companies that already have all-electric cars on the market and could penalize those that don’t.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that by 2030, half of all new cars and light trucks should be zero-emissions vehicles—a mix of battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid EVs, and hydrogen fuel cell EVs. But the White House still sees a future for burning hydrocarbons, as the executive order will also develop new long-term fuel-efficiency standards, and there is no mention of phasing out internal combustion engines for new vehicles at any point in the future.
Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are expected to announce new fuel-efficiency rules through model year 2026. The US had a relatively ambitious target of reaching a corporate average fuel economy target of 54 mpg (4.3 l/100 km) in 2025 under President Obama, but President Trump took a wrecking ball to that plan in 2020.
The EPA and NHTSA will likely adopt the framework recently put together by California’s Air Resources Board and BMW, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo. The plan would reduce emissions from new vehicles by 17 percent by MY2026.
The proposal would impose tariffs on some imports from countries with looser environmental rules. It would also mean the end of sales in the European Union of new gas- and diesel-powered cars in just 14 years.
The president wants to use pollution rules to rapidly lift sales, but there are hurdles ahead.
Science can now pull carbon out of the air. For that to make a difference, though, businesses need to find profitable places to put it.
The airline industry might not be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for decades because most solutions are not yet viable.
The transition to an electric-car future will be an uphill battle, with the president and Republicans in Congress at odds over his $4 trillion economic agenda.
A plan aimed at the nation’s largest cluster of warehouses is designed to spur electrification of pollution-spewing diesel trucks and could set a template for restrictions elsewhere.
Buying an electric car can be exciting and bewildering. Consider what kind of car you want and need and where you will charge.
The Environmental Protection Agency will be issuing revised fuel economy standards by the end of July, said new EPA Administrator Michael Regan, rewriting Trump-era limits that dictate emissions limits for cars and light trucks through the 2026 model year. The goal with the revised standards, he added, will be to mitigate certain climate impacts.
The new fuel efficiency standards will have to be significantly more stringent than those issued by the Trump-era EPA, which only finalized its rules in March 2020 after a 1.5-year-long process. Those limits call for 1.5 percent annual increases in efficiency through 2026 rather than the 5 percent target under Obama-era rules. Fuel efficiency standards in the US are overseen by both the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an agency of the Department of Transportation.
“We’re taking a strong look at what the science is urging us to do. We’re looking at where technologies are,” Regan said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “We’re marrying our regulatory policy and what we have the statutory authority to do with where the science directs us and where the markets and technology are.”
Videoconferencing is good enough to replace a lot of pointless business travel.
In short: Very green. But plug-in cars still have environmental effects. Here’s a guide to the main issues and how they might be addressed.
Almost one in four Americans are very concerned about vehicle tailpipe emissions, according to a survey conducted in January by the publication Consumer Reports. Nearly half of survey respondents also said that fuel economy is very important when considering a vehicle to buy or lease, and 27 percent were very worried about car exhaust contributing to climate change.
Consequently, Consumer Reports will now grade cars according to their environmental impact. It has launched a new “green choice” rating, identified by a green leaf icon, to help people quickly identify vehicles with the best fuel efficiency and lowest contributions to atmospheric CO2 levels and smog formation.
Interestingly, the survey also shows that nearly half of car buyers will use information about a vehicle’s emissions to inform their buying—but only if they know where to look. Unfortunately, more than 50 percent are unaware that this information is displayed prominently on the Monroney sticker.
They’re still cars. Technology can’t cure America of its addiction to the automobile.
Momentum is shifting toward a clean-car future as more automakers end their legal efforts to block California’s tough fuel economy standards.
Big oil companies lost billions in 2020 because of the pandemic and face broad questions about how they will adapt to climate change and regulations.
The end of the gasoline-powered car will transform the economy.
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.
Electric cars are an even better value than I understood when I first bought one.
The Transportation Department, which holds sway over planes, trains and automobiles, faces limits on how it spends money. Still, here are five possible steps.
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.
A lobby is trying to block building codes that would help fight climate change.
Toyota’s $180 million settlement with the federal government follows a series of emissions-related scandals in the auto industry.
The last few years have seen a rather bitter fight over vehicle pollution between the federal government and California, with automakers taking sides. In August 2012, during the Obama administration, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced new standards aiming to reach a target of 54.4mpg (4.3l/100km). But with the change of administration at the beginning of 2017 came a change in those priorities.
At the time, I described the new target as “pathetic.” But here’s the truly scary thing—as unambitious as it was, it would still represent a 50 percent increase in efficiency compared to the existing US light vehicle fleet. According to a new analysis at Green Car Congress, if you analyze the average miles driven per gallon of fuel each year, the US has made almost no progress between 2008 and 2019.
The Environmental Protection Agency versus California
Shortly after the beginning of the Trump administration, the EPA gave notice that it was less interested in cleaning up vehicle emissions. Additionally, the EPA called out California, which has a waiver that gives its California Air Resources Board the power to regulate air pollution from vehicles within the state’s borders. (Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington also participate in the so-called Zero Emissions Vehicle program, taking their lead from CARB.)
New research details major infrastructure work — including immense construction projects — that would need to start right away to achieve Biden’s goal of zero emissions by 2050.
Struggling energy companies are increasing the production of renewable diesel, which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
General Motors said it would no longer back President Trump’s lawsuit seeking to strip California of the power to set fuel economy standards.
The Tesla Model S and the Porsche Taycan give environmentally conscious speedsters an outlet for their desires.
The next president can undo some of the recent efforts to weaken environmental protections. But it’ll take work.
The agency’s watchdog office said Monday it would investigate whether the reversal of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards violated government rules.
The new rule, expected Thursday, would mean more than half of trucks sold in the state must be zero-emissions by 2035, and all of them by 2045.
The prosecutor is one of two Justice Department officials coming forward whom Democrats are calling whistle-blowers.