The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized new emissions standards for passenger vehicles but failed to recognize the importance of the fuels in those vehicles in paving the way for a zero emissions future, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.
“It appears EPA has again failed to recognize that the fuels we put into our engines can have as much—or more—impact on fuel economy and GHG emissions as the engine technologies themselves,” said RFA president and CEO Geoff Cooper in a statement. “EPA had the opportunity to use this rulemaking as a tool for moving toward the adoption of high-octane, low-carbon (HOLC) liquid fuels, but chose not to open the toolbox. Research has proven that HOLC fuels can significantly improve fuel economy and reduce emissions from the light-duty vehicle fleet, while also reducing the harmful tailpipe pollution linked to heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. While this regulation is a missed opportunity, we will not give up on promoting an orderly transition to a higher octane fuels (98-100 RON) for all new internal combustion vehicles, establishing parity and consistency in the regulation of fuel volatility for ethanol and gasoline blends, and leveling the playing field for GHG emissions credit generation for all alternative fuel vehicles, including flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs).”
According to EPA, the final standards for Model Years (MY) 2023 through 2026 “leverage advances in clean car technology to unlock $190 billion in net benefits to Americans, including reducing climate pollution, improving public health, and saving drivers money at the pump.”
The ambitious standards through 2026 also set the light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) program on track to provide a strong launch point for the Agency’s next phase of standards for MY 2027 and beyond. EPA is planning to initiate a separate rulemaking to establish multi-pollutant emission standards under the Clean Air Act for MY 2027 and later that will speed the transition of the light-duty vehicle fleet toward a zero-emissions future consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order, “Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks.”