California senators urge Biden to set a date to end gas-powered vehicle sales

Washington — California’s senators are calling upon President Joe Biden to set a date to end sales of internal combustion engine vehicles and to “set fuel economy standards at the maximum level feasible.”

“We believe the national baseline should, at an absolute minimum, be built around the technical lead set by companies that voluntarily advanced their agreements with California,” Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla wrote in a letter sent to Biden Friday and first reported by Reuters on Monday. “We also urge you to follow California’s lead and set a date by which all new cars and passenger trucks sold be zero-emission vehicles.”

Biden directed his administration to review emissions and fuel economy standards, which were rolled back under former President Donald Trump. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Feinstein and Padilla’s letter.

Trump reduced the requirement for annual increases in fleetwide average miles-per-gallon from 5% under the Obama administration to a less-stringent 1.5% for model years 2021-26. Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., BMW AG, Volkswagen AG and Volvo Cars Ltd. struck a deal with California to meet 3.7% increases in fuel efficiency.