The new EPA chief has big plans.
The newly minted EPA Administrator isn't wasting any time getting acclimated to his new job. Michael Regan is currently deep in the planning phase of what will be the agency's biggest announcement in years regarding emissions laws. Speaking to Bloomberg, Regan intends to unveil by late July new limits on greenhouse gas emissions that will force automakers doing business in America to comply. General Motors, for example, likely won't take any issue with the EPA's plans because it's already committed itself to battery electrics only by 2035. Other automakers, especially smaller ones such as Mazda and Subaru, could face problems because Regan intends to go all-out.
"We need to go as far as we can to meet the demands of the day," he said. "The science indicates we have a short window in time to reverse the path that we're on and mitigate against certain climate impacts."
It's time to forget the Trump era that toned down regulations set by Obama. Trucks and SUVs like the popular Ford F-150 will have to adapt. Very conveniently, a pure battery-electric F-150 will arrive next year. Regan made clear the EPA has no intention to tone down tailpipe emissions requirements, something automakers and Big Oil had been lobbying for. However, he still firmly believes a more environmentally sound policy is still good for business.
"It's a false option to choose between economic development and prosperity and environmental protection," he added. A few weeks from now, the EPA will also formally reverse another Trump-era policy: the right for California to set its own vehicle emissions standards.
For years, the Golden State has issued C02 laws stricter than the federal mandate, such as last year's announcement banning sales of new ICE passenger vehicles beginning in 2035. It's no coincidence GM set the same goal. Could California set a new national precedent? Regan isn't ruling that out. "We're taking a strong look at what the science is urging us to do. We're looking at where technologies are," he said. "We're marrying our regulatory policy and what we have the statutory authority to do with where the science directs us and where the markets and technology are."
Also still up for consideration is a possible tax on C02 emissions, an issue Big Oil and many politicians will fight tooth and nail.