The Biden administration announced finalized greenhouse gas emissions regulations for new light-duty cars and trucks Monday, hailing the rules as "paving the way" to a net-zero emissions economy.

The Environmental Protection Agency standards apply beginning in the model year 2023 and increase through model year 2026, when automakers will be required to reach an average of 55 miles per gallon across their fleets. EPA said it expects the program will result in avoiding more than 3 billion tons of greenhouse emissions by 2050.

“The final rule for light duty vehicles reflect core principles of this Administration: We followed the science, we listened to stakeholders, and we are setting robust and rigorous standards that will aggressively reduce the pollution that is harming people and our planet — and save families money at the same time,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

The rule would be stricter than the rolled-back standards put forward by the Trump administration. In that version, the emissions standard for model year 2026 allowed for 208 grams of CO2 per mile, or equivalent to 43 miles per gallon fuel efficiency. The Biden rule allows for 161 grams of CO2 emissions per mile.

Democrats and environmental groups praised the new rule for helping the United States to cut emissions and mitigate climate change.

Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called the standards "a tremendous step in the right direction in our fight against the climate crisis."

Carol Lee Rawn, senior director of transportation for environmental group Ceres, said it would push automakers even further along the electric vehicle path.

"The auto industry is already moving toward vehicle electrification, but the ambitious standards announced today will help to accelerate that transition to the speed and scale required to meet the urgency of the climate crisis, while leveling the playing field for automakers committed to electrification and clean cars," Rawn said.

The EPA said it is planning to also use Clear Air Act authority to initiate a separate rulemaking for establishing multipollutant emission standards for model year 2027 vehicles.


The transportation sector is responsible for the largest share of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA, and transforming the nation's vehicle fleet is integral to Biden's energy and climate agenda.