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Trump EPA Finalizes First Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Aircraft, Codifies Record of Reducing the Most GHGs in U.S. History

Supports domestic aircraft manufacturing, commonsense regulation to maintain global competitiveness

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WASHINGTON (December 28, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized emissions standards for airplanes used in commercial aviation and large business jets. This action will align U.S. standards with the international carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), ensuring domestically manufactured aircraft remain competitive in the global marketplace. This final rulemaking also sets a precedent with the Trump Administration being the first to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft. Under President Trump, EPA has now finalized four regulations that will reduce greenhouse gases including the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicle rule, and New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Oil and Gas – the most in history.

“The U.S. leads the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and today’s historic action that finalizes the first-ever GHG standard for aircraft will continue this trend,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This is the fourth concrete final regulation the Trump Administration’s pragmatic approach to climate action has produced meaningful results without unnecessarily sacrificing American jobs or important domestic industries like our aircraft manufacturers.”

The ICAO standards were developed with significant input from EPA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and U.S. and international aviation industries. Typically, three out of four aircraft manufactured in the U.S. are sold overseas. These standards will help ensure consistent standards across the world, and most importantly allow U.S. manufactured planes, such as commercial and large passenger jets, to continue to compete in the global marketplace.

Because of the U.S. aircraft industry’s innovative leadership, many airplanes manufactured by U.S. companies met the ICAO standards at the time of their adoption in 2017, and already meet the standards contained in this action. Based on the manufacturers’ expectation that the ICAO standards will be implemented globally, EPA anticipates nearly all affected airplanes to be compliant by the effective dates for new type designs and for in-production airplanes.

Aircraft CO2 regulations mark the fourth major action under the Trump Administration that will meaningfully reduce U.S. GHG emissions.

1. Under the ACE rule, when fully implemented, CO2 emissions from the U.S. power sector will be 34 percent below 2005 levels. In comparison, the Obama-Biden Administration’s illegal Clean Power Plan achieved zero emissions reductions because it was prevented from going into effect via unprecedented action by the U.S. Supreme Court.

2. Under the SAFE rule, EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration increased the stringency of fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards by 1.5 percent each year through model year 2026. While the Obama-Biden Administration’s virtue signaling standards forced auto manufacturers to pay penalties or buy credits to “comply,” the SAFE Vehicles Rule will produce actual emissions reductions without adding unnecessary costs so more Americans can drive newer, safer, and more efficient vehicles.

3. Finalized this August, EPA fixed the Obama-Biden Administration’s methane regulations for the oil and natural gas industry that will save about a billion dollars in compliance costs while still achieving significant emissions reductions.

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