Update: In February, the Biden Administration announced it was seeking to restore California's waiver to set emission standards for the United States. On March 9, the Environmental Protection Agency officially reinstated California's authority to establish and enforce its own emissions regulations under the Clean Air Act.
California will soon be the driving force behind America’s emissions legislation after a brief hiatus during the Trump administration. According to a recent New York Times article, the Biden Administration is working to enact strict tailpipe emissions regulations on larger commercial vehicles. This new policy shift is mirrored after truck pollutions laws enacted by the state of California. This change re-establishes California as the leader in America’s emissions regulation legislation.
As the political landscape continues to shift, so does America’s focus on the emissions of combustion vehicles. In the passenger vehicle market, rules continue to constrict manufacturers of gasoline engines as the march to electrification steadily continues. For manufacturers of large commercial vehicles, things have been a little different.
The California waiver was first introduced in 2009 by Barack Obama and allowed California to set the emissions regulations for the entire United States. This meant that California’s stricter emissions targets were a national initiative. The Biden Administration is seeking to restore this waiver and has already started the legal process to repeal the work of the Trump administration who removed it.
The Biden Administration’s decision to match California’s emissions regulations for larger commercial vehicles represents the first time these regulations have seen a shift since 2001. Over the last 21 years, our world has changed drastically and so has the technology surrounding more efficient and clean combustion engines.
This massive shift in regulation will not be an easy one, but it’s important to crack down on the largest polluters on the road. Some are critical of this decision citing increased costs for small business owners and we expect this political discourse to continue until the end of time.
Source: New York Times