Legislation was enacted by the House on Wednesday with the intention of obstructing an Environmental Protection Agency rule that, according to its detractors, amounts to an underhanded requirement to compel Americans to purchase electric vehicles.
Fox News reports that in the 221-197 vote to approve the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales Act, five Democrats supported 216 Republicans.
The legislation was introduced as a reaction to an EPA regulation that, according to the White House, could result in a vehicle market where 67 percent of newly purchased sedans, crossovers, SUVs, and light trucks would be electric by 2032 in order to conform with exhaust emission regulations. In order to accomplish compliance, the Biden administration estimated that by 2032, fifty percent of newly purchased buses and waste trucks could be electric.
If you drive a gas-powered vehicle, the Biden Administration is coming for your car keys.
Today, House Republicans will pass the CARS Act to protect American consumers from the EPA’s woke EV mandate. pic.twitter.com/oeksw9gUiv
— Rep. Andrew Clyde (@Rep_Clyde) December 6, 2023
Republican Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan, who drafted the CARS Act along with Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, said the EPA rule “is unattainable, it’s unaffordable and, in fact, it’s unrealistic,” according to The Hill.
“It takes away what we’ve always thought of as one of the most important principles of Americanism, and that’s choice,” he said.
“The passage of the CARS Act is a massive victory for every consumer and the entire American auto industry. Biden’s mandate has always been unrealistic and a textbook study on how central planning and Bidenomics simply do not work. Mandating EVs has never been a responsible or affordable solution,” Walberg told Fox News.
“Americans should always have the option to buy whatever car suits them the best and the House has taken a massive step toward ensuring that opportunity still exists,” he said.
Walberg said car dealers know the rule is a mistake.
“Just last week, nearly 4,000 car dealers sent a letter to the Biden administration asking them to reconsider their EV mandate, citing a lack of demand from consumers. Today, with the passage of the CARS Act, the House showed we’re listening,” Walberg said in a statement on his website.
Walberg said there’s nothing wrong with consumers having the option to buy an electric vehicle, but said government should not be “tying the hands of American car manufacturers and forcing families to purchase vehicles not conducive to their lifestyle and pricing many families out of the market.”
Fox News noted that even supporters of electric vehicles thought the rule was a mistake.
“Auto Innovators does not believe [the proposed standards] can be met without substantially increasing the cost of vehicles, reducing consumer choice, and disadvantaging major portions of the United States population,” said John Bozzella, the CEO of Alliance for Automotive Innovation.
“Taken together, the proposed GHG (greenhouse gas) and criteria pollutant standards are so stringent as to set a de facto BEV (battery electric vehicle) mandate,” he said.
“This legislation would help ensure the continued availability of engine technologies that small-business truckers depend on for their livelihoods and are necessary to keep our supply chain functioning.” – @OOIDA
— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) December 6, 2023
Aaron Ringel, vice president of government relations for American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, stated that the EPA regulations benefit China more than the United States.
“Banning vehicle and fuel technologies based on just one category of emissions is unlawful, illogical and bad for consumers, families and our national security,” Ringel said. “It would trade our hard-earned energy security for dependence on China.”
The CARS Act is now with the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.
The White House has stated that President Joe Biden will veto the legislation if it passes the Senate.