A cohort of legislators is demonstrating praiseworthy initiative by opposing the Biden administration's endeavor to impose electric vehicle (EV) usage requirements on the American public. Twelvety Republican legislators, led by Senators Tim Walberg of Michigan, Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have expressed their concerns to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a letter. The letter pertains to proposed regulations on automobile manufacturing. They contend that the aforementioned regulations constitute a "unofficial EV mandate" and would negatively impact energy costs, consumer choice, U.S. businesses, energy, and national security.
120 Republican Lawmakers Band Together in Bid to Combat Biden's Sneaky 'De Facto EV Mandate' https://t.co/Td7EHS360x
— Red (@R25939411Sharon) January 24, 2024
Therefore, what is the NHTSA's precise proposal? Commencing in 2027, passenger vehicles and light trucks would be obligated to enhance their fuel efficiency by 2% and 4%, respectively, in accordance with the agency's new standards. Fuel efficiency increases for pickup vehicles and work vans are anticipated to increase by 10% per year beginning in 2030. Although these figures may appear rational initially, they obscure the exceedingly impracticable expectations that the Biden administration is attempting to enforce.
By 2032, the NHTSA anticipates that its regulations will have contributed to an average fuel economy of 58 miles per gallon. Nevertheless, as reported by the Environmental Protection Agency, the mean fuel economy of a vehicle for the 2022 model year is a mere 26.4 miles per gallon. Automobile manufacturers would be obligated to enhance their fuel efficiency by over twofold within a decade, failing which they would incur significant fines. According to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the implementation of these regulations would result in companies incurring non-compliance penalties amounting to more than $14 billion.
Moreover, the legislators contend that the suggested regulations are illegitimate due to the inclusion of electric vehicles in the "regulatory baseline" established by the Biden administration. They argue that the NHTSA was not authorized by Congress to establish fuel economy standards that effectively require the use of electric vehicles and eradicate the market for internal combustion engine vehicles. Republican legislators also emphasize the dearth of consumer demand for electric vehicles, noting that a mere 8% of vehicles acquired during the third quarter of 2023 were electric vehicles.
Additionally, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) oppose the NHTSA's recommendation. The Biden administration is essentially attempting to outlaw new gas, diesel, and flex fuel vehicles, according to CEO Chet Thompson. This is detrimental to American families, the economy, and national security. Thompson states that while the AFPM supports initiatives to improve vehicle efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, it is critical to foster competition among all technologies and powertrains, including those powered by fuels produced in the United States.
The pursuit of electric vehicles (EVs) within an impracticable time period not only fails to consider consumer preferences but also endeavors to compel the free market to generate preferred outcomes. Some legislators' opposition to this de facto mandate and demand for regulations that adhere to the law and respect consumer preferences is commendable. We should be grateful as Americans that there are members of Congress in Washington who are willing to oppose such overreach and defend our freedom of choice.