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Biden administration follows through with improved greenhouse gas emissions standards – a win for consumers and the climate

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strengthened its August 5 proposal for greenhouse gas emissions standards in a final rule for vehicles manufactured between 2023-2026
  • The newly finalized Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) rule will save consumers $2,400 over the lifetime of new vehicles purchased starting in 2026

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its rulemaking for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks manufactured between 2023 and 2026. The final rule demonstrates that EPA’s Administrator, Michael Regan, listened to formal comments submitted by Consumer Reports, the public, and other stakeholders. During the four month-long process of public engagement, CR also submitted over 25,000 petition signatures from consumers and activists that supported strengthening the summer proposal.

“EPA’s final ruling today is a big win for consumers and the environment. These new greenhouse gas emissions standards will save consumers $2,400 per new vehicle, while improving air quality for communities across the country. It is great to see that the agency took the public comment process seriously and made major improvements from this summer’s proposal,” says Dr. Quinta Warren, associate director of sustainability policy at Consumer Reports.

In comments to the agency, CR urged EPA to restore the consumer benefits lost under the previous administration. The final rule delivers most of what Consumer Reports asked for, with a return to the same level of stringency as the 2012 Obama-era standards for vehicles manufactured in 2025. In 2026, the stringency will increase more than 10 percent. With these changes, the Biden administration will deliver billions of dollars in benefits to consumers, restoring over 90 percent of the losses from the 2020 SAFE rule.

CR’s senior transportation policy analyst Chris Harto, says, “It is encouraging to see the Biden administration move forward with much stronger greenhouse gas standards than those initially proposed this summer. This is a promising first step to getting the country back on track to achieving the administration’s goal of a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles by 2030, essentially saving consumers over $1 trillion through 2050.”

The transportation sector is the country’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. President Biden’s August Executive Order, “Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks,” set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from new cars by 60 percent and making 50 percent of cars and light trucks zero emission by 2030. The order also directed EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy respectively for passenger cars for model years 2027-2030. Consumer Reports will engage those agencies during their respective processes, urging them both to continue setting the strongest standards possible.


Contact: Carsen.mata@consumer.org