WASHINGTON—The Biden administration is revisiting regulations on vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions after the Trump administration last year loosened standards put in place under predecessor Barack Obama.
President Biden's executive order, signed during his first week in office, directs the Department of Transportation and the EPA to reconsider the Trump administration's 2019 decision to revoke California's authority to restrict tailpipe emissions by April and review fuel-efficiency standards for light vehicles by July.
Biden is likely to drop the previous administration's effort to block California from setting its own emissions standards, and establish tougher fuel-efficiency rules that promote zero-emission vehicles—two actions that could aid his $2 trillion "Build Back Better" agenda, which includes the installation of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations nationwide.
The president is expected to lay out his economic recovery plan before Congress next month. The plan "will make historic investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy," Biden said in remarks this month before his inauguration.
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation—the industry's leading lobbying group, which represents most major auto makers in the U.S. as well as some suppliers and tech companies—vowed to work with Biden and his team on "shared goals of reducing emissions and realizing the benefits of an electric future."
"We recognize that regulation and policy will help set the terms for that future and that near-term regulatory issues will need to be resolved in a way that benefits the environment, the work force and our economy," John Bozzella, CEO of the association, said in a statement.
Leaders from Ford Motor Co. and General Motors also expressed a willingness to work with the administration.
In a statement supporting Biden's decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement—the 2015 international climate accord that the Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of in 2017—Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said the auto maker is committed to reducing emissions and making "the best electric vehicles."
"While we cannot eliminate all the carbon-producing manufacturing and automobiles overnight, we can choose a path that will eventually take us to a zero-emissions future," Ford said.
GM CEO Mary Barra congratulated the new administration via Twitter and said GM is looking forward to "working together on the issues that unite us."