Statement by Nate Wallace, Clean Transportation Program Manager

Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – It is extremely disappointing to see the Biden administration weaken its proposed fuel economy regulations in response to pressure from the auto industry. These tailpipe emissions standards are expected to be adopted in Canada, and therefore will significantly affect both countries.  

The final rule weakens the Biden administration’s originally proposed tailpipe emissions standards in the years prior to 2030. This weakening will mean higher carbon emissions, reduced EV sales, and less fuel cost savings compared to the originally proposed rule. The original proposed rule was stronger than Canada’s own Electric Vehicle Availability standard before 2030, meaning that our own standard will not safeguard this progress.

The final rule contains loopholes so big you could drive an F-150 truck through them. Weaker emissions requirements for light trucks and vehicles with larger footprints encourage the sale of larger and heavier vehicles. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated that the trend towards larger and heavier vehicles has canceled out 40 per cent of fuel efficiency improvements made by all vehicles in the U.S. between 2010 and 2019. We expect that Canada will undergo a regulatory consultation process before aligning with the U.S. EPA rules and we strongly recommend that the Canadian government close these loopholes on this side of the border.

Despite the weakening of the originally proposed rules, their finalization will send a strong market signal that will bring economic benefits to Canada. Canada’s primary auto export market is the United States. Thanks to this rule 69 per cent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. are projected to be electric (battery-electric or plug-in hybrid) by 2032. This reaffirms that investments in Canadian EV production will continue to pay off as the internal combustion engine is regulated out of existence in Canada’s global export markets.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE: Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Karishma Porwal, Environmental Defence, media@environmentaldefence.ca