Sierra Club Statement on Ramped Up Industry Lobbying of EPA Clean Vehicle Regulations

Industry Lobbying Against Standards Could Put Lives and Planet at Risk

Larisa Manescu,

Washington, DC – Ahead of a set of important vehicle regulations being finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) soon, car dealerships and the truck industry are ramping up their lobbying of the agency to adopt weak standards and allow more pollution from cars and heavy trucks. 

The EPA is expected to finalize two sets of rules that would reduce emissions from light-duty/medium-duty vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles soon. Both rules are currently under interagency review at the Office of Budget and Management. 

This week, a group of around 4,700 dealerships sent a second letter to the Biden Administration urging the EPA to completely “hit the brakes” on the light-duty rule, while InsideEPA reports that the truck industry is pushing the EPA to include concessions to truck manufacturers in the heavy-duty rule by easing limits on the largest vehicles.

Hundreds of thousands of advocates pushing for cleaner air and climate action from across the nation, many living in frontline communities suffering most from transportation pollution, are urging the EPA to adopt the strongest rule possible for both the clean car standards and the clean truck standards.

Last week, more than forty environmental and advocacy groups from around the globe, including Evergreen Action, Sierra Club, Environmental Action Germany, and Public Citizen sent letters to the CEOs of Volvo Group and Daimler Truck calling on them to stop their attempts to hinder clean trucks and clean air progress in the US. While both companies have made public commitments to electrify their heavy-duty vehicles and have been supportive of a transition to zero emission trucks in Europe, they continue to attempt to stymie progress in the US through back door opposition directed at the truck standards proposed by EPA. 

In response to the recent increase in industry lobbying, Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All Director Katherine García released the following statement: 

“The EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment. Finalizing strong vehicle emission standards is consistent with this mission and represents yet another critical federal action in a long history of the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act.

“The EPA should listen to communities impacted by our polluting transportation system, not industry attempting to keep us stuck to the status quo by delaying the inevitable transition to zero-emission vehicles. The Sierra Club urges the EPA to stick to its mission and deliver strong federal standards that will protect families from vehicle pollution, save drivers money at the pump, and fight the climate crisis.”


The EPA’s proposed standards would greatly improve public health and help protect the environment. The strongest versions of these rules can help the United States avoid 9.9 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2055. For comparison, that’s equivalent to emissions from 88 coal plants operating over 30 years. The rules will also help clean up our air, resulting in reductions of 16,650 tons of PM2.5 and 143,000 tons of NOx emissions in 2055, compared to if the rules weren't in place. 

According to the EPA’s own analysis, the transportation sector accounts for 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions—more than any other sector in the US—and is the fastest growing emitter of GHG emissions. Recent preliminary estimates from Rhodium Group show that transportation was once against the single largest contributor to the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2023, rising 1.6 percent from 2022. 

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit