Ford Authority

Biden Administration Works To Reinstate California Emissions Authority

Back in 2019, then-President Donald Trump set forth in motion a plan that would eventually strip California and other states of their ability to set their own emissions and fuel economy standards. Regardless, Ford and a number of other automakers reached a voluntary agreement with the state to adopt those stricter California emissions standards, and now, the Biden Administration has cleared its first hurdle in reinstating California emissions authority completely.

That first step comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has now proposed to withdraw its portions of the Trump-era rule. This follows President Joe Biden‘s executive order, issued back in January, that directed the EPA and the Department of Transportation to reconsider Trump’s decision to block states from setting their own emissions standards and zero-emission vehicle mandates, as well as direct a review of light vehicle fuel efficiency standards.

“The transportation sector is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gasses in our economy, which means it can and must be a big part of the climate solution,” said Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg. “This proposed rule would be an important step towards protecting public health and combating climate change.”

“States have been leading the way, especially over the last four years, when it comes to cleaning up pollution and addressing climate change,” said NHTSA administrator Steven Cliff. “NHTSA’s proposed rule would remove unnecessary barriers to state leadership in regulating greenhouse gases and other air pollutants that spew from the tailpipes of cars.”

The NHTSA has opened a 30-day comment period on the withdrawal notice, and if it is finalized, the regulatory action would no longer prevent states from implementing rules that are stricter than federal standards. Additionally, the EPA is expected to restore a waiver previously provided to California that allows it to limit tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions, which will be followed by a 30- to 60-day comment period.

These moves follow Biden’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, a move backed by Ford that he announced yesterday at a virtual climate summit, and reinstating California emissions authority would be another step toward reaching that goal.

We’ll have the latest on these changing emissions standards as they happen, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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    More regulations just what a weak economy needs.

  3. GA

    Biden Administration is a joke!

  4. Tom

    California doesn’t generate enough electricity now to meet its current demands. I don’t remember the exact amount, but it’s a high percentage that it buys from other states. This will be interesting to see how they are able to charge all of their EV’s.
    This is going to be fun (really it will be sad) watching this EV transition take place. Between the massive environmental damage from manufacturing tens of millions of automotive lithium battery packs ANNUALLY, to building thousands of huge ugly wind turbines required to replace the energy now provided by gasoline; the greenies’ heads will explode. It will be up to the remaining sane people to clean up their mess.

  5. Mike says..

    The devil is always in the details….. the prior administration was more meddlesome than helpful in attempting to strip California and other states of their ability to set their own emissions and fuel economy standards. I doubt any of you would be happy having the feds dictate the way forward on all things automotive. Before your head explodes….. it does not matter which party is in power. Delegation of authority is central to a market economy…. and the current administration is trying hard not to be big brother. I should not have to remind you that what works on west coast is always the same or even wanted on the east coast.

    1. grumpyunk

      Having each state set the standards generally would lead to higher costs as multiple sets of standards would call for multiple sets of control devices and settings.
      It may make sense to meet the strictest standards, but that would be subject to the whim of 50 States, so planning and implementation would often be in process, only to be interrupted by new standards from one state or another.
      The standards appropriate for NYC or Los Angeles are not applicable, essentially, for North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, Texas, and many other states with significantly lower concentrations of vehicles. To have lowered fuel economy and more complex equipment adds cost and uses more fuel.
      Perhaps the market could decide what is applicable instead of the government.
      It seems that C.A.R.B. can promulgate their standards, even though the air quality in California is significantly cleaner than in the past. It is difficult to determine what level is acceptable, as C.A.R.B. seems to tighten them every year, even though the quality is significantly improved. Volvo made a vehicle that produced exhaust that was cleaner than the air coming into the engine. C.A.R.B. wants to keep their government jobs, so keeps making new regulations to strangle industry in the state.

  6. Rob

    Having different emissions standards would make crossing state lines a legal nightmare. Pass in one state but not another. Huge opportunity for law enforcement to hand out more noncompliance tickets and increase that state’s revenue. It could happen but not in the state of Washington where emissions testing was discontinued January of 2020. Most newer cars hardly pollute at all and with the advent of more EV’s who really cares anymore.


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