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Manchin, Bipartisan Colleagues Raise Concerns Over EPA's Proposed Rule on Electric Vehicles

February 23, 2024

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined 139 of his bipartisan, bicameral colleagues in urging U.S. President Joe Biden and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young to withdraw the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule setting stringent vehicle tailpipe emission standards that would effectively serve as an electric vehicle (EV) mandate. The rule would require 67% of new light-duty vehicles and 46% of medium-duty vehicles to be electric by 2032 with the goal of phasing out traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

“This rule is contradictory to all conventional predictions about where the automobile industry is headed in the coming years, including this Administration’s own Department of Energy. As reported in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook in 2021, 4 of 5 new vehicles will still run on liquid fuels in 2050, making this rule not just absurd to the average citizen, but to your own agencies as well,” the lawmakers wrote in part.

“The reality is that most Americans still prefer the internal combustion engine vehicle, and EPA’s proposed rule unnecessarily restricts consumer choice and forces expensive EVs onto Americans at a time when they can least afford it,” the lawmakers continued. “The EPA’s proposed rule is burdensome and inconsistent with the reality of the industry and needs to be rejected for the good of American families and businesses.”

The full letter is available below and here.

Dear President Biden and Director Young,

We write today to urge you to immediately halt and reject the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule entitled “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles” that was sent to the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday, January 18, 2024. Additionally, we write to highlight the failures of this Administration’s hasty and costly transition to electric vehicles (EVs).

This proposed rule, which would require 67% of new light-duty vehicles and 46% of medium-duty vehicles to be electric by 2032, amounts to a de facto mandate for EVs and phase out of the internal combustion engine vehicle. The U.S. House of Representatives, in a bipartisan manner, voted to overturn this burdensome rule in December (H.R. 4468), and similar efforts are currently being pursued in the Senate.

Additionally, this rule is contradictory to all conventional predictions about where the automobile industry is headed in the coming years, including this Administration’s own Department of Energy. As reported in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook in 2021, 4 of 5 new vehicles will still run on liquid fuels in 2050, making this rule not just absurd to the average citizen, but to your own agencies as well. In fact, recent reporting from sources inside your Administration indicates that EPA now intends to ease the rule’s requirements through 2030 to give automakers more time to comply. This again shows that even your own agencies know this mandate is absurd and unrealistic, and threatens to harm both industry and consumers.

The reality is that most Americans still prefer the internal combustion engine vehicle, and EPA’s proposed rule unnecessarily restricts consumer choice and forces expensive EVs onto Americans at a time when they can least afford it. Major U.S. automakers have recently lowered their targets and pulled back planned investments in EVs due to low consumer demand and struggling EV units. Further, automobile dealers across the country have said EVs continue to sit unpurchased on dealership lots, despite automakers accepting massive losses and unsustainable government incentives.

Over the past few weeks, parts of the country experienced temperatures below zero with wind chills of nearly 40 below. This cold snap has once again highlighted that this Administration’s mandates will not work when EVs are unreliable, especially during the harsh winter months. In many areas, drivers were left stranded waiting hours for batteries to charge or searching for a nearby charging station.

Your Administration continues to degrade liquid fuels and combustion engines in order to implement its costly Green New Deal agenda that harms our families and businesses, increases our gas prices, and makes us more dependent on foreign supply chains—particularly China.

Therefore, we strongly urge you to halt and reject the implementation of the EPA’s proposed tailpipe rule. These last few weeks, with EVs leaving people stranded, have underscored the reason why an EV-only approach is wrong. The EPA’s proposed rule is burdensome and inconsistent with the reality of the industry and needs to be rejected for the good of American families and businesses.



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