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Biden Introduces Stricter Pollution Rules in Move to Push Electric Cars

electric car
Joe Biden wants to make electric cars the dominant mode of personal transportation. Credit: Bill Abbott, CC BY-SA 2.0

US President Joe Biden is introducing stricter pollution laws in an attempt to phase out gas cars and make electric vehicles the dominant mode of personal transportation in America.

Biden’s strategy is to use tailpipe regulations to edge the public over to electric vehicles from their gas-fueled counterparts. Biden sees this move as the key to reducing the pollution that is contributing to global warming.

The plan is unique for synthesizing climate, economic, and foreign policy to transform the car manufacturing industry. Biden’s anxiety about the environmental effects of gas-powered vehicles is also compounded with his belief that America is lagging behind China in the production of electric vehicles.

The push could also be a huge boost to jobs if American factories are expanded to make batteries and other electric car parts. China currently dominates the industry, with 70% of electric vehicle batteries being produced there.

“This is the first example of how Biden’s administration would do industrial policy in the climate change context,” said Michael Oppenheimer, who teaches geoscience and international affairs at Princeton University.

“It’s how you tie a lot of incentives and mandates together in a way that is aimed at achieving critical climate change goals, but could also put the US in a position to compete economically with China. There are trade implications, it could change where the jobs will be in the economy. It could disrupt the US auto industry but also provide new opportunities.”

Biden’s plan to make electric cars the future

Part of Biden’s plan involves returning auto mileage standards to their Obama-era levels. Former President Donald Trump had relaxed the measures that aim to limit tailpipe pollution. Biden’s administration is currently at work drafting the strictest auto pollution rules to date for passenger and large vehicles.

Biden aims to have half the vehicles sold in America be electric in the next 10 years.

The United States’ three largest automakers — General Motors Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Ford Motor Company — will be working in coordination with the president, pledging that 40 to 50 percent of their new vehicles will be electric in ten years. Congress will support the industry in this mutual effort by passing an infrastructure bill that uses billons of dollars for the creation of electric vehicle charging stations.

Charing stations are a vital cornerstone in making Biden’s vision a reality. Experts unanimously agree that a transition from gas to electric will be impossible without the installation of electric charging stations nearly everywhere in America.

Another concern for labor leaders is that the production of electric vehicles requires fewer workers — a condition that may lead to lay-offs after the initial rush to make American factories capable of assembling electric vehicle batteries and other parts dies down.

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