Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, April 12, 2023


Dan Becker, (202) 494-5577,

Biden Auto Emissions Rules Fail to Meet Climate Emergency

Proposed Standards Make No CO2 Pollution Cuts to Gas-Powered Vehicles

WASHINGTON— The Biden administration proposed new tailpipe emissions standards today that fail to rein in massive carbon pollution from millions of new gas-powered SUVs, pickup trucks and cars.

President Biden has called the climate crisis an “existential threat.” But today’s proposed rules for model years 2027 to 2032 fail to address carbon pollution from new gas-powered cars and trucks. Such vehicles will dominate sales through much of this decade, with tens of millions of gas-guzzlers sold that will pollute into the middle of the century.

The best of several options proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today would mandate 67% electric vehicle sales by 2032.

“This is Biden’s chance to take the biggest single step of any nation to confront the climate crisis, but the EPA’s proposal stalls out when it comes to new gas-guzzlers,” said Dan Becker, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Transport Campaign. “The draft rule fails to require any improvement in the tens of millions of new gas-guzzlers, and even the strongest option falls well short of the 75% pollution cut necessary to protect our planet. Biden shouldn’t let automakers’ can’t-do attitude sabotage his best shot at cutting carbon emissions.”

The proposed rules come on the heels of the latest U.N. climate report, which warned of fundamental, irrevocable alterations to Earth’s climate without rapid, deep cuts to greenhouse gas pollution.

“The world’s leading climate scientists just issued a wake-up call for the strongest climate action,” said Becker. “We can’t afford for the Biden administration to sleep through it.”

In addition to the climate benefits, a stronger rule would save consumers more than a trillion dollars at the gas pump and cut our dependence on oil from problematic regimes.

To truly drive climate progress, the Center is calling on Biden to tell the Environmental Protection Agency to write rules that:

  • Slash auto pollution 75% by 2030 by rapidly increasing EV production and cutting pollution from new gas-powered cars and light trucks.
  • Close all loopholes that help automakers make more gas-guzzlers.
  • Ensure frontline communities have full access to affordable EVs.

“It’s unfathomable that the EPA wrote an auto pollution rule that fails to cut pollution from gas-guzzlers at all,” said Becker. “This is auto mechanics, not rocket science.”

Car companies already have cost-effective technologies to dramatically cut pollution from gas-powered cars, such as improved engines, transmissions and aerodynamics. But instead of installing these technologies in new vehicles, car companies successfully lobbied for loopholes that will allow them to keep making polluting cars, SUVs and pickups.

“Automakers talk out of both sides of their tailpipes, promising electric vehicles while delivering mostly the same old gas-guzzlers and lobbying for weak, loophole-riddled rules,” said Becker. “A strong standard will make them keep their word.”

The Center and GreenLatinos recently placed a full-page ad in The New York Times blasting automaker doublespeak on clean vehicles. The ad called on Biden to make the manufacturers cut carbon emissions 75% by 2030 and boost EV access and production. The groups also collaborated on an online video campaign, which also called on Biden to set strong emissions standards.

“We’re in a climate emergency,” Becker said. “The president needs to act like it and strengthen this draft rule to require 67% EVs by 2030 and 3.5% annual improvement for new gas cars and trucks. Together those moves would slash auto pollution 75%.”

RSMiami_traffic_congestion,_I-95_North_rush_hour_Public_domain_FPWC-scr (2)
Photo of traffic in Miami available for media use as public domain. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. The Safe Climate Transport Campaign is a project of the Center.

center locations