House Republicans, including prominent leaders, have penned a letter to the Biden administration expressing their opposition to recent environmental regulations to promote electric vehicle (EV) adoption.
The letter, addressed to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, was led by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and supported by Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn: Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and several committee chairpersons.
In the letter, the GOP lawmakers voiced concerns over the EPA’s proposed standards for vehicle emissions, arguing that these regulations, under the guise of addressing climate change, would result in increased costs for consumers, isolation of rural Americans, and increased economic dependence on China.
EPA’s vehicle pollution standards pave way for a greener future
The EPA unveiled the proposed vehicle pollution standards in April, which, if finalized, would affect car model years from 2027 to 2032.
The White House claimed that these regulations would reduce carbon emissions by nearly 10 billion tons by 2055, thus safeguarding public health while saving consumers an average of $12,000 over the lifespan of their vehicles.
Additionally, the administration projected that the measures would hasten the transition to cleaner vehicles and reduce oil imports by 20 billion barrels.
An electrifying future in sight: White House aims for 67% electric cars revolution
According to the White House’s estimations, if the regulations are enacted, an impressive 67% of the new sedan, crossover, SUV, and light truck purchases could be electric by 2032.
Furthermore, up to 50% of bus and garbage truck purchases, 35% of short-haul freight tractors, and 25% of long-haul freight tractors could be electric by that time.
House Republicans challenge EV revolution, fear foreign dominance.
The House Republicans, however, disputed these figures, emphasizing the current EV market share of 4.5% and asserting that the proposed standards intentionally manipulated the market to prop up EVs.
They further contended that such a rapid shift to EVs would primarily benefit China, which controls the critical minerals supply chain and EV battery manufacturing.
China dominates global EV industry as major EV battery producers
Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) supports China’s dominant position in the EV industry.
China produces approximately 75% of all lithium-ion batteries globally and possesses 70% of the production capacity for cathodes and 85% for anodes, both essential components of these batteries.
China solidifies control over mineral production in African mines
More than half of the processing and refining capacity for lithium, cobalt, and graphite, crucial minerals for EV batteries, is in China.
Chinese investment firms have also acquired stakes in African mines, particularly those abundant in cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, solidifying their control over mineral production.
Pricing gap between EVs and their gas-powered counterparts
Contrary to the Republicans’ claims, gas-powered cars accounted for 93% of all new car sales in 2022, as the Alliance for Automotive Innovation reported.
Additionally, EVs remain considerably more expensive than their traditional counterparts, with an average cost of $65,291 compared to $48,094 for internal combustion engine vehicles, as indicated by Kelley Blue Book data from last year.
Affordable wheels drive economic equality
The Republicans stressed the importance of pricing, especially for low-income households, as car ownership is linked to improved economic outcomes.
They argued that Americans should not be compelled to pay exorbitant amounts for cars they neither desire nor can afford.
EV driving range raises concern for rural communities
Moreover, they pointed out that the limited driving range of EVs presents a problem, and forcing rural communities into an EV-dominated future would result in their isolation.
The Department of Energy’s findings reveals that the median range for the model year 2021 gasoline vehicles were 403 miles, while for EVs, it stood at a median of 234 miles.
The letter concluded with a strong plea to rescind the EPA’s proposed regulations.