The Environmental Protection Agency is on a mission. It wants to issue new vehicle emissions standards by July 2021. But first, it has to rebuild the EPA which was gutted under the former Trump administration. The EPA’s new Administrator Michael Regan wants the agency’s focus to be fighting climate change and helping areas of the US affected by pollution. But he’s not ruling out an all-out ban on gas-powered vehicles to achieve that goal.
President Biden wants the EPA to go where science tells it to go
In an exclusive Bloomberg interview, Regan would not rule out an ICE ban. With President Joe Biden having the US reenter the Paris Agreement reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a high priority. He wants the EPA to go where science tells it the US needs to go. But first, it must build back up the EPA.
That’s because over 700 scientists fled the EPA under Trump. What scientists said before the Trump years, and what they say now are the same. We have only a short amount of time “to reverse the path that we’re on” and significantly slow down or even stop climate impacts. For that to happen science, data, facts, and the law will be what EPA decisions are based upon.
EPA’s Regan said regulations alone won’t solve things
While Regan won’t rule out banning ICE vehicles he said that regulations alone won’t solve things. That’s why proclamations like GM’s to produce only electric cars by 2035 aids the EPA’s mission. Tightening up emissions rules is the first step from a regulatory standpoint. Combining the two will push environmental change in the US.
But the EPA sees that with its tougher stance there is opportunity. New markets will be created and also new technologies. We’re already seeing the market for all-electric vehicles explode. We can’t keep up with all of the new startups developing EV, solar, and hydrogen vehicles. And battery technology is frantically trying to lighten the battery’s weight and mass while expanding its power and range.
Forcing change will only hurt the manufacturer’s and the EPA’s efforts
So slowly, the facts around environmental policy and the technology needed to implement and improve those goals are proving science to be correct. How long it will be until the feds decide it’s time to kill off ICE vehicles is anybody’s guess. Carmakers are just now pivoting toward electrification. Forcing change too quickly will only hurt the manufacturer’s and the EPA’s efforts.
While car enthusiasts lament the eventual elimination of gas-powered vehicles it was inevitable. But the positive effect is that EVs accelerate and reach top speeds beyond gas-powered vehicles. So speed thrills and wild acceleration are nothing to sneeze at. Yes, much of the sound and fury of internal combustion will be gone. But the thrill of getting on the open highway or thrashing down the quarter-mile won’t disappear with gas-power gone.