President Barack Obama signed an executive order Tuesday that makes the sale of diesel cars in the United States illegal.
The order will take effect at midnight ET on Sept. 16, with no further action.
The change is a major win for electric vehicle advocates, who have long argued that a switch to electric cars is a critical step in ensuring the country has enough fuel to run a full range of transportation.
Obama said the order “sets a clear path forward to ensure that our nation can meet its environmental and economic responsibilities without sacrificing safety, efficiency, or reliability.”
The new order would ban the sale, manufacture, importation, transfer, distribution, leasing, or transportation of electric vehicles that emit more than 10 percent of all greenhouse gases in the U.S. It would also ban the manufacture of new electric vehicles with more than 5,000 miles of range that meet federal standards.
The executive order will be challenged in court, but the administration said the new rules would help reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by preventing the spread of emissions that cause acid rain, soil erosion, and other climate-altering impacts.
“By limiting our reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning to a cleaner, greener energy future, we can save the planet from dangerous climate change,” the president said in a statement.
“That’s why I’m signing this executive order.”
The move follows a decision by President Trump to delay his order and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to review the regulations.
The administration argued that the president was not using the authority he claimed in the executive order to block new electric car sales.
However, the Supreme Court on Tuesday denied the administration’s request to block the EPA from enforcing the new order, meaning that it will remain in place.
“The president is right to act to protect public health and the environment, and we’re glad he will use this executive action to help make that happen,” said Erik Milito, president of the Electric Vehicle Alliance.
“As the country continues to transition away from fossil fuels, we need to make sure that we’re keeping up with the changing environment.
We hope that by enforcing the rules and making it easier for automakers to sell electric vehicles, we’ll be able to do that.”