The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it will start to tighten fuel emissions standards for cars and light trucks to 40 miles per gallon by the 2026 model year, replacing looser ones set by former President Donald Trump.

The EPA said that the new requirements will be “the most ambitious greenhouse gas standards ever set for the light-duty vehicle sector in the U.S.” The new standards aim to save consumers money as well as prevent billions of tons of carbon dioxide from being released.

“The final rule for light duty vehicles reflects 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 S. Regan said in a statement.

The 2023-2026 model year emissions standards will increase by between 5-10% each year. The ultimate 40-miles-per-gallon standard will be a slight increase from the 38.2 mpg for 2026 vehicles that the EPA proposed in August.


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Trump’s emissions standards, known as SAFE standards, were a rollback of the Obama administration and would’ve only increased to 32 mpg in 2026. They are also an increase for Obama’s EPA, which would have been 36 mpg.

The rule will be published in the Federal Register by year’s end and will go into effect 60 days after. The EPA is starting to work on tighter standards for 2027 and beyond.

“We went backwards under President Trump and we lost a lot of momentum,” said Margo Oge, Chair of the International Council on Clean Transportation, and a former Obama EPA official who helped draft that administration’s emissions rules. “These standards will bring the country ahead again but we have so much more work to do.”

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