Breaking News! U.S. House Adopts Bill to Stop California Gas Vehicle Ban

Some good news coming out of Washington DC. Your voice matters. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act (H.R. 1435) from Representative John Joyce (R-PA). The bill passed with bipartisan support (222 to 190), with eight Democrats joining their Republican colleagues to advance this legislation. The legislation prohibits the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing a waiver to California for regulations that would ban the sale of new motor vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) in the state by 2035. 

H.R.1435 would amend federal law to block attempts to eliminate the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines. Further, this legislation would restrict the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing any waivers that would ban the sale or use of new motor vehicles with internal combustion engines. The Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act was introduced in response to the California Air Resource Board’s decision to effectively ban the sale of new, internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035, in an effort to force automakers to cease the development and production of new gas-powered motor vehicles. (Rep. Joyce)

Rep. Joyce lead the fight to ensure Americans can choose the type of motor vehicle that best meets their needs. “The last thing my constituents want is another oppressive Biden Administration mandate that puts a radical environmental agenda and far-left special interests above their individual freedoms,” said Congressman Joyce. “There is nothing more quintessentially American than the freedom of the open road, and I’m grateful to my colleagues for supporting this important legislation protecting the freedom of all Americans to drive the vehicles of their choice.” 

House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) shepherded H.R. 1435 through the committee in July. As Chair of the E&C Committee, which has jurisdiction over automotive issues and the Clean Air Act, McMorris Rodgers has been a lead advocate for technology-neutral vehicle policies. “Seventeen other states have similar bans on internal combustion engines that would be triggered if EPA approves California’s request,” said Chairwoman McMorris Rodgers. “This affects 40% of the United States’ new vehicle market–and companies don’t customize cars for every state.” 

To date, 14 out of 17 CARB states have begun adopting regulations to follow the California zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) mandate. The existing ZEV regulations are so onerous that Stellantis, a member of the Big Three, has stopped shipping gas-powered Jeeps to dealers in those states and customers wanting gas-powered vehicles must place a special order. 

U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), the co-chair of the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, introduced S. 2090, a Senate companion bill to H.R. 1435 (includes the same bill text). The House and Senate versions of the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act now await consideration in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. 

The White House in a recent quote said it strongly opposes the bill set to be voted on this week by the U.S. House of Representatives that would prevent California from receiving federal waivers to set standards limiting the sale of new gas-powered motor vehicles. 

The bill faces long odds of winning approval in the Senate, where Democrats have made boosting electric vehicles a top priority. But it might pick up some Democratic support in the House, and the future of cars could be a potent political issue in the 2024 election for Congress and the White House. Contact your elected representatives and tell them what you want and support this effort.

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