House Republicans, to no avail, have passed legislation blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulation to require that two-thirds of new vehicles sold in the U.S. be electric by 2032. This announcement comes shortly after the EPA stated that it would set tailpipe emissions limits for the 2027 through 2032 model years, imposing strict requirements never seen before. Republicans argue that this mandate is another back-door vehicle for electric vehicle companies to gain traction and sales.
According to Republican representative Tim Walberg, this bill, if enacted, will impose unnecessary costs on American taxpayers. He expressed concerns that should this legislation be set in place, average American families may not be able to easily afford such costly vehicles. The current administration introduced an average tax credit of $48,334 on gas-powered cars versus an average of $53,469 for electric vehicles.
Even though the price of electric vehicles continues to drop, due to companies such as Tesla and its continuous competition, Walberg sees this legislation as a potential loophole in terms of aiding electric companies that are already dominant over the EV battery supply. “This will hand over the keys of the American auto industry to China,” Walberg argues.
As expected, the White House strongly opposes the GOP’s bill and is trying to work exhaustively in order to stall this legislation. A highly controlled statement points to the fact that the President, Joe Biden, would veto this bill if it were to reach his desk. The White House stated that his bill would “catastrophically impair EPA’s ability to issue automotive regulations that protect public health, save consumers money, strengthen American energy security, and protect American investments.” They see this move as a step backward in terms of cutting costs for consumers and protecting public health.
The proposed standards for passenger cars and light trucks which have been under EPA’s recent analysis are performance-based and are dependent on the manufacturer’s choice. The White House states that this move will lead to “flexibility in not only where they (Americans) fuel, but how they choose to fuel.”
Also mentioned is the fact that the bill could potentially save Americans thousands of dollars over their vehicle’s lifetime by reducing fuel and maintenance costs as well as pollution. These additional benefits are in line with the need for ever-increasing American consumers to make conscious purchasing decisions with sustainable intentions.
The bill, however, according to New Jersey Representative Frank Pallone, will impede innovation and create an atmosphere of uncertainty for American Vehicle makers. He argued that its vague language has its reservations, which could potentially prevent the EPA from finalizing vehicle standards of any form.
He mentioned that congressional Democrats stand ready to address the concerns raised by Republicans through the incorporation of policies that would lower consumer costs and improve public health. He warned that the Republicans were attempting to “legislate away years of innovation in clean transportation.”
Whilst the world comes ever closer to environmental damage, this legislation has been nothing shy of controversial. Nonetheless, electric vehicle companies will continue to promote and advance their technological capabilities.