We let them know we stood behind H.R. 4468, a bill prohibiting the EPA from implementing a mandate to only buy electric vehicles. This is the first step in stopping the EPA from restricting what types of vehicles can be offered, allowing you & the market to decide what is sold.
The House of Representatives on Dec. 6 voted to pass a bill that will block a proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to effectively mandate that most cars produced in the United States be fully electric by 2032. You spoke out and some elected politicians heard you.
The bill, H.R. 4468, dubbed the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales (or CARS) Act of 2023, passed the House by a 221–197 vote. That included total GOP support. Democrats are seeking to have the bill sent back to committee.
The bill would block an EPA rule that would require roughly 68 percent of cars manufactured in the United States be fully electric by 2032. The electric vehicle mandate rule is supported by President Joe Biden’s administration.
Republicans have rallied against the proposed standards, which they say are unrealistic and threaten to undermine consumer freedom, as well as increasing U.S. dependence on China. Around 90 percent of the rare earth minerals used to create electric vehicles batteries are sourced from China.
“While we are supportive of the free market producing electric vehicles to satisfy a market need, this misguided EPA mandate would have an immediate, detrimental impact on the choices and affordability of cars, trucks, and SUVs available to our constituents,” the Republican signatories said.
Specifically, those who signed the letter pushed for the inclusion of a reversal of the EV standards to be included in the final draft of 2024 government funding. “Not only would the EPA’s proposed regulation hurt America’s national security, but it would severely limit consumer choice for affordable vehicles that fit the needs of the average American,” they wrote. “At a time of inflation, high interest rates, and rising costs, the last thing Americans need is to find both new and used vehicles unaffordable because of an EPA mandate.”
The National Automobile Dealers Association has also criticized the EPA rule, which they called “too far, too fast.” In a December 5th press conference in support of the measure to overturn the rule prior to its vote on the floor. They state, “this standard is unattainable, it’s unaffordable, and in fact it’s unrealistic.”
Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) agreed, saying that the notion that most vehicles should be fully electric by 2032 is “ridiculous.” She said, “If we force automakers to do this, they will bleed money, which will mean layoffs for employees of families who are already struggling under this administration, and manufacturing will move outside of the United States. “That is not good for our taxpayers.”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), another enthusiastic supporter of the proposal, raised a series of concerns about the potential effects of a mandate. Specifically, the instability of the U.S. electric grid, which is currently unable to support a large-scale move toward EVs. As proof of this, he pointed to a case in California a few years ago when Gov. Gavin Newsom asked Californians not to charge their EVs between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. due to strains on the electric grid. “What do you do when you’re stuck? What do you do when your wife is pregnant in the hospital?”
Despite its passage by the House, the legislation seems unlikely to pass in the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority. And even if it did pass the Senate, President Biden has promised to veto the bill. In the United States, the president can use the veto power to prevent a bill passed by the Congress from becoming law. Congress can override the veto by a two-thirds vote of both chambers.
However, Republicans are unusually united behind the effort to overturn the rule, some democrats are also in support of removing the mandate in the house. This electric vehicle mandate could become a key point of negotiations over spending next year. It could also be involved in the presidential election in 2024.
What if you were forced to buy something you don’t want? Remember, the CARS Act also prevents regulations that would mandate certain technologies or limit the availability of vehicles based on engine type. So what can you do?
Reach out to your Senators, call, write, email and attend town halls and tell them not to get this wrong.
Lauren Fix is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. A trusted automotive expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics, energy and safety issues for both the auto industry and consumers. Her analysis is honest and straightforward.
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