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.
Fewer cars on the road during the pandemic has meant cleaner air, but not necessarily fewer traffic deaths. Can we have both?
At stake in the lawsuit is the single biggest effort by the United States to fight the climate crisis.
Electric Hummers and Cybertrucks, as well as the next generation of S.U.V.s, will signal the arrival of the E.V. era in America if they start to sell in big numbers.
The Trump administration has finalized new fuel efficiency standards, lowering expectations from 54 miles per gallon by 2025 to 40 miles a gallon by 2030.