House Passes Bill Aimed to Revoke California EV Mandate

by | Sep 15, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Cars driving in the San Fernando Valley in California

(Credit: Flickr)

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill intended to thwart California’s efforts to phase out gas-powered cars and bar all states from limiting gas-powered car sales.

In May, California announced a plan to require all new vehicles sold in the state to be electric or plug-in electric hybrids by 2035 in order to reduce emissions. The move is especially impactful as states often follow California’s legislative decisions — 17 states reportedly put emissions standards in place along the lines of the new regulations.

According to the Clean Air Act, states are allowed to pursue clean air rules that are more strict than the federal government, provided they get permission from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA offered California a waiver which granted them the ability to instate the new mandate. The House bill aims to strip the EPA of the power to grant such a waiver.

Since offering the waiver, California has reportedly considered completely phasing out new gas-powered car sales in the state.

Although the House bill was passed, with 214 Republican and eight Democrat votes, it is not expected to pass in the Democrat-led Senate. The White House also recently released a statement voicing its opposition to the House’s actions.

Reasons for Push Back on EV Transition

The House bill reflects a larger trend of Republican pushback against President Biden’s climate agenda, specifically the goal of having 50% of all new vehicle sales be electric by 2030.

Republican House members called California’s ruling a “restrictive government mandate,” some claiming that EVs are unable to meet the needs of their constituents. Cited concerns include EVs’ susceptibility to temperature changes, which may cause a decrease in range, and their assumed inability to handle certain types of terrain. EVs, including trucks and large vans, are being developed and improved to address such concerns. House members also cited how limiting sales of combustion engine vehicles infringes on American consumers’ freedom.

Auto workers have also recently voiced concerns that increased EV production has been used as an excuse for auto companies to undercut wages. Republicans have reportedly used these concerns to gain more support against an EV transition.

In California, the zero-emission rules would cut 25% of smog-causing pollution from light-duty vehicles in a state with the worst air quality in the nation. The state also currently faces sea-level rise, coastal flooding and erosion, and increasingly more wildfires, urging its considerable efforts towards climate change mitigation.

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This