Wicker Opposes Biden Rules on Vehicle Emissions

Emissions Rules are Costly to Americans and Profitable for China

April 24, 2023

In an epic overreach of the administrative state, President Biden recently proposed two changes to vehicle emissions standards, which would immediately require the entire American auto industry to shift its focus to electric vehicle production. His plan is a liberal pipe dream born of the same Green New Deal fantasy that has driven his administration’s anti-domestic energy agenda. If finalized, the proposed rules would increase costs for American families, ensure our dependence on China, and dramatically alter the American way of life.

Biden’s Plan is an Impossible Dream

 The president’s plan raises vehicle emissions standards to such great heights that auto manufacturers would have to convert most of their cars from gas to electricity to comply with regulations. Last year, just 6 percent of cars purchased in America were electric. Under President Biden’s plan, the share of electric vehicles produced would rise to 67 percent within a decade. This is an unrealistic goal that would force manufacturers to overhaul or shutter their production lines completely.

A 1,000 percent increase in electric vehicles would strain an already-burdened electric grid. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has expressed concern over the reliability of existing American electric infrastructure. Increasing charging demand would push our grid to the brink.

President Biden does not seem to remember how we generate the power behind his preferred form of energy. A full 60 percent of American electricity comes from burning natural gas and coal. The president wants to require more electricity while at the same time his other green initiatives restrict the sources that make it possible.

EV Rules Increase Our Dependence on China

The president and his party also seem to forget the huge cost in rare earth minerals associated with electric cars. EV batteries are built using special minerals, and the world’s leading producer of these materials is China. At any time, the Biden administration could open more mineral mines and expedite the permitting process that holds back domestic mineral production. Even if he does, increasing electric vehicle supply means increasing dependence on our primary adversary.

Even if President Biden could wave a magic wand and put EVs at every car dealership, his plan would still be hugely disruptive. Automakers have achieved some recent advances in EV technology, but it will be a long time before these cars become convenient and cost-effective for every American.

EV Mandates Hurt Rural and Low-Income Americans

 For many urban drivers, electric vehicles may make sense. The shorter commutes and higher populations of cities make the limited range of EVs less burdensome and building the necessary infrastructure more cost-effective. But for drivers in rural areas, like Mississippi, who travel much longer distances on average and who do not have access to charging stations, EVs could pose a real safety risk and leave them stranded.

President Biden’s mandate also amounts to a tax on poor and middle-class Americans. Electric vehicles are more expensive to produce than comparable gas-powered cars. If automakers are compelled to go electric, price increases would ripple through the industry. Producers may have to charge more for new gas-powered cars to cover the production cost of EVs. This would drive up demand for used cars, making them less affordable, too. Seen in light of President Biden’s anti-energy policies, this new plan is another attack on Americans’ pocketbooks.