Cars, trucks and planes

Biden has a lot of work to do to revamp national fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules for cars and trucks that the Trump administration unraveled  — and he pledged to start on day one

The moves will be critical for California’s air pollution and climate goals. Tailpipes are the biggest source of both climate warming pollution and smog.

California has had the unique authority to set its own tailpipe pollution standards for cars and trucks for decades. The state also played a key role in negotiating nationwide fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules under the Obama administration.

Then Trump revoked California’s authority to set limits on greenhouse gases from tailpipes and weakened federal fuel economy rules

Biden tasked his agencies with establishing “ambitious, job-creating fuel economy standards” and reviewing both prongs of the Trump administration’s attacks on greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards by next summer. He directed his administration to work with labor unions, states and the auto industry. 

That means we’re likely to see California at the negotiating table once again as the Biden administration develops new clean car rules his campaign has said will go “beyond what the Obama-Biden Administration put in place.” 

California got around the Trump order by cutting a deal with five major automakers, which agreed to meet California requirements nationwide in exchange for some extra time and flexibility. After Biden’s victory, more car companies are signaling a willingness to negotiate

The ultimate goal, the campaign said, is to phase out the sale of gas powered passenger vehicles entirely and push for yearly improvements in heavy duty trucks — where California has led the way

Also on Biden’s radar is the Trump administration’s recent aircraft emissions standard that the EPA said was not projected to reduce emissions, and critics have called “industry handout.” Biden has tasked his EPA with reviewing it.