Senate preserves new EPA tailpipe rule — for a few weeks

By Manuel Quiñones | 03/25/2024 06:28 AM EDT

Senate leaders pledged a vote by April 19 on whether to block the rule. The vote is part of a deal that averted a partial government shutdown.

Mike Crapo speaks to reporters holding their phones.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) at the Capitol. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Biden administration won a crucial if temporary climate victory when the Senate excluded from a major new spending measure a provision that would block EPA’s new plan to limit automobile tailpipe emissions.

The $1.2 trillion fiscal 2024 spending measure that President Joe Biden signed Saturday leaves intact one of his most ambitious climate rules, which could sharply accelerate sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by further restricting tailpipe emissions.

EPA’s Clean Cars rule has drawn strong opposition from some industry groups, many Republican lawmakers and a few industrial-state Democrats since the agency published it Wednesday in final form.


The rule imposes new limits on carbon emissions of cars, light trucks and SUVs starting in the 2027 model year and growing in subsequent years. It also requires automakers to limit emissions that help create smog and soot and could result in EVs accounting for half of U.S. new car sales by 2032.