Feb 14, 2024 - Energy & Environment

Lobbyists swarm White House as Biden's major vehicle emission rules near

Photo illustration of Joe Biden holding a carbon molecule.

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Industry and green groups are flocking to the White House to sway the Biden administration's looming vehicle carbon emissions rules.

Why it matters: Transportation is the largest U.S. emissions source, and the rules aim to speed up electrification.

  • It's a 2024 election issue as well — former President Trump is bashing President Biden's electric vehicle policies, arguing they defy consumer preferences and help China.

The latest: Records show 20 February meetings occurred, or are scheduled, with White House and Environmental Protection Agency aides about planned light- and medium-duty vehicle rules.

  • Automakers, climate groups, the oil sector and many others are taking part in closed-door sessions about standards that start taking effect in model year 2027.

How it works: Chats with the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs often occur shortly before rules are released.

  • The White House agenda targets March for this one, but it could be longer — those plans are always penciled in.

Catch up fast: Draft EPA standards last year effectively aim to have EVs make up two-thirds of light-duty sales by 2032, up from around 10% now.

  • It's part of wider proposed standards that also cover heavy trucks — and are also attracting heavy lobbying.
  • The rules together would displace large amounts of oil imports and CO2 emissions, EPA claims.

Yes, but: It's under pressure to modify them.

  • For instance, a major auto industry trade group alleges they're not feasible without increasing vehicle costs and cutting choices.
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