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EPA releases 'most ambitious car emissions standards ever'

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By 2026, new cars could get an average of 40 miles per gallon. That’s according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s new standards for car emissions — which it calls the "most ambitious standards ever."

They replace the goal set under former President Donald Trump, which would have only reached 32 miles per gallon.

The EPA said the standards under the Biden administration will help the country avoid more than 3 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions through 2050 — which was more than half of all U.S. emissions in 2019.

READ MORE: Biden’s electric vehicle goal could affect auto, ethanol manufacturing in Indiana

Transportation is the largest source of the U.S. emissions that contribute to climate change — and passenger cars and trucks make up more than half of those emissions. The EPA said the U.S. can expect to see between $8 billion to $19 billion in improved public health benefits from the reduced pollution as a result of the new rules.

The agency said someone who buys a 2026 passenger vehicle will likely save enough in fuel costs over the car’s lifetime to outweigh the upfront price by about $1,000.

Contact reporter Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.