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The Biden administration started discussions with utility and automobile sectors about reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’re already having conversations with the utility world and we’re having conversations with the car companies,” White House domestic climate change adviser Gina McCarthy said.

“The car companies understand now that the future for them is electric vehicles … so we’re going to be sort of working to make sure that we move forward with some kind of an agreement on that and a strategy to get us out of the gate fast.”

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The Biden Administration declared their commitment to working towards a clean energy economy and signed a series of executive orders within the first week of their term.

Biden seeks to engage every federal agency to decarbonize the U.S. power sector by 2035 and the entire U.S. economy by 2050.

General Motors Co. (GM)––who the Biden administration met with to discuss revising vehicle emission standards through 2026 or beyond––stated their intention is to sell only electric cars by 2035.

GM also said they plan to be carbon neutral by 2040 in their global products and operations.

“General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra

“We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole.”

Prior to the Trump presidency, California and 13 other states developed their own tenacious standards on tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks. 

California’s “waiver” allots special permission granted 40 years ago by the federal government for the state to set separate car pollution standards.

Trump sought to revoke the waiver, claiming that it was illegal under the Clean Air Act.

This was met with criticism from proponents of the clean energy agenda.

Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign at the Center for Auto Safety, said Obama-era emissions standards should be continued.

“The standards the Trump administration is trying to roll back are the biggest single step that any nation has taken to tackle global warming. They would save 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide, if not weakened. So this is an enormous threat to the planet if the president’s rollback goes forward,” Becker said.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. is the world’s second-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, with China being the first. The power and transport sectors contribute to more than half of the emissions.

Written ByLinn Win

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