Lawmakers Aim to Block Biden’s Electric Vehicle Regulations

hand charging car at electric vehicle charging station.

Senators Sullivan and Ricketts, along with Representatives James and Fulcher, introduced bills allowing Congress to overturn federal agencies' rules using the Congressional Review Act. (Credit: Canva)

by | May 6, 2024

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U.S. Senators and Representatives recently introduced legislation in both chambers to block the Biden administration’s electric vehicle (EV) mandates, which were set forth through recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

Lawmakers Behind the Bill

In the Senate, the bills were introduced by Senators Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska. At the same time, in the House, Representatives John James of Michigan and Russ Fulcher of Idaho led the charge. The lawmakers have put forth Congressional Review Act resolutions, which provide Congress the authority to overturn final rules issued by federal agencies.

The EPA unveiled new standards in April aimed at reducing carbon emissions. While the plan doesn’t explicitly require manufacturers to produce EVs to meet these standards, it’s widely understood that transitioning to electric vehicles is the most practical route for compliance, especially considering that the standards come into effect in 2027.

According to a press release from Senator Sullivan, the rules would require up to two-thirds of new cars and nearly 40% of trucks sold in the U.S. to be EVs within the next eight years. However, critics argue that such regulations would have detrimental effects on various sectors of the economy.

Sullivan emphasized concerns about the impracticality of EV technology in rural states, particularly those like Alaska, which has frigid temperatures and vast distances between communities. He warned against the potential negative impacts on hard-working families, the worsening of the supply chain crisis, and increased reliance on critical minerals.

Senator Ricketts echoed these sentiments, highlighting the disproportionate impact such rules would have on low-income and rural families. Meanwhile, Representative James voiced fears that the regulations would devastate the Michigan auto industry and harm the middle class, potentially endangering thousands of manufacturing jobs in his district.

Support from the National Federation of Independent Business

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) also threw its weight behind efforts to halt the implementation of the EV mandate. A statement from NFIB’s Principal of Government Relations, Andrea McGee, underscored the concerns of small and independent businesses, particularly those in rural areas lacking the infrastructure to support electric vehicles. The NFIB argued that the mandate would limit consumer choices, increase costs for small businesses, and disrupt daily operations for tradespeople who rely on their cars as mobile offices.

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