Congressional Republicans Hold Line Against Biden EV Plan

A majority of the House Republican caucus signed onto a letter protesting a Biden administration plan to introduce regulations intended to phase out traditional engines in favor of electric vehicles (EVs).

The Republicans sent the letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan. The statement was backed by a number of House Republican leaders, including Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). 

The effort opposes a number of proposed EPA regulations intended to reduce the number of traditionally-fueled vehicles on the roads for more electric ones through emissions standards. 

The congressional Republicans argued that such a plan would increase the costs of cars for Americans and harm rural residents who need longer-range vehicles. 

The Republicans wrote that the EPA rules are the “latest effort by the Biden administration to commandeer America’s transportation sector and force its complete vehicle electrification under the guise of mitigating climate change.”

The Republican letter read that “a rapid shift toward EVs would benefit only the Chinese Communist Party, as China has a stranglehold on the critical minerals supply chain and manufacturing of EV batteries.” 

The GOP lawmakers also noted the higher average cost of electric vehicles, stating that “Americans should not be forced into paying an excessive amount for a car they do not want and cannot afford.”

In the regulations announced in April, the Biden White House estimated that the EPA’s changes could lead to two-thirds of popular car models being electric within the next nine years.

The proposed emissions standards are intended to reduce carbon emissions by almost 10 billion tons over the next three decades. 

The White House called President Joe Biden a “self-proclaimed car guy” in a statement, adding that the effort is part of a plan to accelerate the “adoption of zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles.”

The White House also estimated that up to half of new buses and garbage trucks may be electric by 2032, as well as more than a quarter of freight tractors. 

Currently, fewer than 5% of American vehicle sales are electric, the Republicans noted.