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Biden’s sweeping electric car mandate facing major roadblock from Republicans

via ABC
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A group of 120 GOP lawmakers, led by Senators Mike Crapo and Ted Cruz, and Representative Tim Walberg, have urged the Biden administration to withdraw proposed fuel economy regulations, which they argue effectively mandate electric vehicles (EVs) and restrict consumer choice.

They claim the regulations would raise costs, harm businesses, and ignore consumer preferences for internal combustion engine vehicles.

The lawmakers wrote, “We strongly urge NHTSA to withdraw its misguided proposal, go back to the drawing board and reissue new CAFE standards that comply with the law, rather than ones that seek to pick winners and losers in the free market and remake our country’s economy.”

“Nowhere in law did Congress authorize NHTSA to set fuel economy standards that effectively mandate EVs while at the same time force the internal combustion engine out of the market,” they continued.

“In fact, federal statute expressly prohibits NHTSA from considering the fuel economy of EVs when determining maximum feasible CAFE standards for passenger cars and trucks,” added the lawmakers.

The Republicans wrote, “NHTSA’s out-of-touch de facto EV mandate ignores the reality that most Americans still prefer the internal combustion engine vehicle, and the fact there is a lack of consumer demand for EVs.”

“The low consumer demand for EVs can likely be attributed to the various unappealing aspects of these vehicles, including the typically higher sticker prices and insurance premiums, shorter average driving ranges, lower resale value, inadequate battery technologies for severe cold weather and lack of operational charging infrastructure, particularly for drivers in rural areas,” read their letter.

“EVs are not a practical option for most Americans,” they concluded.

The proposed standards aim to significantly increase fuel efficiency, potentially doubling it by 2032, but could lead to substantial penalties for non-compliance.

The lawmakers also argue that the regulations would benefit China and harm U.S. national security interests due to China’s dominance in EV supply chains.

Rep. Walberg said, “NHTSA’s proposed CAFE standards are just the latest attempt by the Biden administration to implement a de facto EV mandate.”

“These standards will limit consumer choice, increase costs and make us reliant on adversaries like China,” he continued.

“Instead of again pursuing unaffordable central planning, the Biden administration should let innovation and consumers lead us into the future,” added Walberg.

“Whatever that future looks like, it should not be mandated by bureaucrats in Washington,” he declared.

American Petroleum Institute Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer Amanda Eversole said, “NHTSA’s proposal, combined with EPA’s proposed tailpipe emissions standards, would result in a de facto ban on the sale of new vehicles using gasoline and other liquid fuels.”

“These rules will hurt consumers through potentially higher costs, fewer options and increased reliance on unstable foreign supply chains,” continued the executive.

“We welcome the efforts of senators Crapo and Cruz, along with those of Representative Walberg, to protect American consumers’ access to all affordable and reliable vehicle options,” she added.

Industry groups have expressed concerns about potential impacts on consumers, vehicle options, and reliance on foreign supply chains.

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President and CEO Chet Thompson said in a statement, “The Biden administration is overseeing a whole-of-government campaign to effectively ban new gas, diesel and flex fuel vehicles,”

“This agenda is bad for American families, bad for our economy and indefensible from a national security perspective,” the statement continued.

“AFPM supports efforts to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation and improve vehicle performance and efficiency for consumers,” explained the CEO.

“And unlike the Biden administration’s CAFE proposal, we believe successful, consumer-first policies must encourage real competition among all technologies and powertrains, including American-made, American-grown fuels,” he concluded.

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