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The experience of a red air day, with its metallic taste of air pollution that leaves a sting in the nose and lungs, is familiar to many. On these days when pollution levels reach unhealthy levels, individuals are advised to stay indoors, especially vulnerable populations like the elderly, children, pregnant women, and those with respiratory illnesses. The leading cause of toxic air in most places is internal combustion engines fueled by gas or diesel, with more than two thirds of Americans relying on personal automobiles for daily travel. Transportation is now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, with light-duty vehicles responsible for nearly 60% of the sector’s climate pollution.

To address the pervasive air pollution problem, it is essential to cut tailpipe pollution from vehicles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently adopted new multi-pollutant rules for light-duty and smaller medium-duty vehicles, limiting tailpipe pollution that impacts air quality and contributes to climate change. These updated standards require automakers to implement the latest clean technologies to ensure that new vehicles are cleaner than ever before. Americans who are concerned about reducing pollution deserve the choice to drive electric vehicles, which can help improve air quality.

Air pollution affects 36% of the U.S. population, with more than 1 in 3 Americans living in areas with unhealthy air quality. People of color and lower-income individuals are disproportionately impacted by air pollution, which can lead to respiratory diseases and other health issues. While the updated pollution limits set by the EPA are beneficial for public health, some corporations view these standards as a threat to their profits and consumer choice. However, these standards are necessary to clean the air and provide consumers with more affordable clean vehicle options.

The EPA’s updated tailpipe emissions standards aim to level the playing field for advanced technologies like battery electric vehicles to compete in the market. The rules address market failures that have allowed fossil fuel profiteers to pollute the air and increase fuel costs for consumers while compromising health and climate stability. By setting responsible limits on tailpipe pollution, the EPA’s standards offer a new trajectory for cleaner air, better health, and a stable climate. Additionally, the rules will result in more affordable clean vehicle models on the road, saving consumers money over the vehicles’ lifetimes.

The EPA’s final rule includes more stringent emissions standards for criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases for light-duty vehicles and medium-duty vehicles. These standards will reduce harmful air pollutants, provide health benefits, reduce CO2 emissions, and create incentives for vehicle manufacturers to produce cleaner engines. The rules will also increase sales of zero-emission electric vehicles, save consumers money, and expand consumer choice. Combined with new incentives and funding for clean vehicles in legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the EPA’s updated standards are poised to transform transportation and improve air quality for generations to come. By investing in clean vehicle technologies and supporting consumer demand for cleaner air and a climate-safe future, the EPA is working to leave toxic red air days in the past and create a healthier environment for all.

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