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EPA tightening mileage rules for new cars to curb tailpipe pollution

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced new regulations tightening fuel mileage requirements on new cars and light-duty trucks. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced new regulations tightening fuel mileage requirements on new cars and light-duty trucks. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new regulations on Monday, tightening fuel mileage requirements on new cars and light-duty trucks.

The new rules apply to model years starting in 2023 through 2026 and mandate manufacturers reach 40 miles per gallon by the 2026 model year.

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In a statement, the EPA calls the "the most ambitious greenhouse gas standards ever set for the light-duty vehicle sector in the U.S."

The new standards are a rollback of looser rules enacted during the final year of the Trump administration.

"The final rule for light duty vehicles reflect core principles of this administration: We followed the science, we listened to stakeholders, and we are setting robust and rigorous standards that will aggressively reduce the pollution that is harming people and our planet -- and save families money at the same time," said EPA Administrator Michael Regan in a statement.

"At EPA, our priority is to protect public health, especially in overburdened communities, while responding to the president's ambitious climate agenda. Today we take a giant step forward in delivering on those goals, while paving the way toward an all-electric, zero-emissions transportation future."

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The EPA said the move leverages clean car technology to reduce climate pollution, as the agency continues to work on new guidelines for the 2027 vehicle model years.

By the 2026 model year, the agency projects the final standards can be met with sales of approximately 17% electric vehicles, and wider uptake of advanced gasoline engine and vehicle technologies.

"While these standards are ambitious, they provide adequate lead time for manufacturers to comply at reasonable costs," reads the EPA statement.

The rule is expected to be registered by the end of this year and take effect 60 days after that.

Under the Biden administration's bipartisan infrastructure law, $7.5 billion is allocated for electric vehicle charging and related programs with a target of having 500,000 public charging stations by 2030.

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