100+ Stakeholders Oppose the Biden Administration’s Proposed Tailpipe Emission Standards
Last week, 100 trade associations and stakeholders across the fuel and automotive value chain joined together to point out the flaws in the Environmental Protection Agency’s light, medium, and heavy duty tailpipe emission standards. These groups span a diverse range of impacted parties from across the country, including oil and natural gas trade associations, corn farmers, farm bureaus, ethanol producers, workforce associations, convenience stores and truck stop operators, refiners, and motor truck associations.
The group’s letter to President Biden emphasized significant concerns with the proposed rule, along with the need to protect access to affordable, reliable transportation. The organizations wrote:
“We share the goal of reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the broader economy and, specifically, those from energy production, transportation and use by society. EPA’s proposals inhibit the marketplace from identifying the most efficient, lowest cost opportunities to reduce GHG emissions from vehicles and greatly restrict consumer choice. We are concerned that such a prescriptive policy is not in the best interest of the consumer or of U.S. energy and economic security.”
Rather than working with industry to create sustainable solutions, the EPA chose to implement broad sweeping regulations that villainize fossil fuels, and in the process, harm agricultural producers, consumers, and business owners reliant upon a strong and stable auto industry. American Petroleum Institute President Mike Sommers explained the trade group’s opposition to the proposed tailpipe rule in a quote to the Washington Times:
“We support technology-neutral federal policies that drive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions in the transportation sector, but this proposal seriously misses the mark… While not an explicit ban on internal combustion engines, this proposal is a de facto ban that will eliminate competition, distort the market and restrict consumer choice, while being potentially more costly to taxpayers.”
The reality is, even companies in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain acknowledge that the market is not ready to produce the volume of EVs the proposed rule would require, and particularly not in a cost effective manner that preserves domestic supply chains. Piedmont Lithium CEO Keith Phillips pointed out that the supply of domestic lithium resources is currently not sufficient to meet the Biden administration’s target of EV sales accounting for s 50 percent of all new vehicle purchases by 2030. With the IEA forecasting that lithium demand will increase by 40 times in the next two decades, supply chain challenges for the critical minerals required for batteries are expected to persist, further complicating the transition to EVs both in the United States and globally.
Electric vehicles are not the only solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation industry — automakers and the oil and gas industry are working diligently to implement innovative technologies and approaches to achieve emission reduction goals. By taking a prescriptive approach rather than a technology-neutral one, the proposed EPA standards stifle innovation and may not even achieve the most effective emissions reduction outcome. The letter emphasizes:
“A diversified portfolio of vehicle and fuel technologies that meets the multitude of transportation needs of Americans and makes meaningful GHG reductions can be achieved while also allowing new zero-emission vehicle (ZEV), and specifically battery electric vehicle (BEV), technologies to advance. Improved crop yield, innovative biofuel and refined product processing, and manufacturing efficiency tied with carbon capture each represent promising advancements for current liquid and gaseous fuels to continue to accelerate emissions reductions.”
Bottom Line: Industries across the transportation supply chain are committed to investing in and implementing innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and rather than support policies that benefit consumers broadly, the EPA’s new standards prioritize ineffectual, idealistic policy goals. With 100+ diverse trade groups, business, and stakeholders coming together to identify the flaws in the EPA’s tailpipe emission standards, it is clear that these new regulations will have sweeping negative implications across the fuel and transportation sectors, as well as for Americans’ access to reliable and affordable vehicles.