The Biden administration’s recent announcement of aggressive regulations targeting gas-powered car emissions has drawn sharp criticism from top Republican lawmakers and energy industry groups.
“First, President Biden came for our gas stoves. Now he wants to ban the cars we drive,” said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“His misguided policies are hurting American families while helping China. The president’s disastrous energy transition is making us more reliant on our enemies while driving up prices for Americans”.
“The ‘electrification of everything’ is not a solution. It’s a road to higher prices and fewer choices”.
The tailpipe emissions rules will impact car model years 2027 through 2032. The new regulations would require automakers to ensure a massive 56% greenhouse gas emissions reduction in 2032 vehicles compared to 2026 models, likely forcing companies to produce electric alternatives more rapidly.
More businesses will need to rely on China
Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the top GOP member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, criticized the emissions standards for not considering the supply chain challenges for American automakers.
Furthermore, the lack of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is a concern and the fact that it takes nearly a decade to permit a mine for critical minerals needed for EVs, forcing businesses to rely on China.
She also highlighted the affordability concerns, stating that the average price of an electric vehicle was higher than the household income of 46% of American families.
Energy industry groups also voiced their concerns. “This deeply flawed proposal is a major step toward a ban on the vehicles Americans rely on,” said Mike Sommers, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. “As proposed, this rule will hurt consumers with higher costs and greater reliance on unstable foreign supply chains.”
The reliance on China for EV batteries and critical minerals was also highlighted, with Chet Thompson, President and CEO of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, stating, “EPA’s proposal to effectively ban gasoline and diesel vehicles is bad for consumers, the environment, our freedom of mobility and U.S. national security.”
Regulations are a ‘power grab’
Critics of the regulations argued that EVs cannot compete with less expensive gas vehicles in the free market.
Daniel Turner, the executive director of Power The Future, called the regulations a “power grab” and stated, “If Joe Biden is going to force Americans to give up their preferred mode of transportation, Congress should mandate the White House and every member of the Biden Administration drive EVs exclusively and immediately.”
The White House and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have defended the regulations as the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, with EPA Administrator Michael Regan stating that they will secure “critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution.”
The White House projected that if the regulations are finalized, a significant percentage of new vehicle purchases could be electric by 2032, which would contribute to reducing pollution and accelerating the transition to clean vehicles.
The debate over the Biden administration’s emissions regulations for gas-powered cars will likely continue as stakeholders from various sectors weigh in on the potential impacts and implications of the proposed rules.