Miss. Lawmakers Call for Withdrawal of Biden’s EV Mandate

Wicker, Hyde-Smith, Guest & Ezell Join Bicameral Push for Market-Driven Standards Instead

January 25, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and U.S. Representatives Michael Guest, R-Miss., and Mike Ezell, R-Miss., are calling for the withdrawal of the Biden administration’s proposed fuel standards that will essentially force Americans to purchase electric vehicles (EVs).

The Mississippi lawmakers are among 121 Senate and House members who signed a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calling for the withdrawal of the Biden administration’s proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. 

“NHTSA’s proposed standards, when coupled with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) distinct, extreme tailpipe emissions proposal, amount to a de facto mandate for electric vehicles (EVs) that threatens to raise costs and restrict consumer choice, harm U.S. businesses, degrade our energy and national security and hand the keys of our automotive industry over to our adversaries, especially China,” the lawmakers wrote.

The lawmakers argue that in trying to force the Biden administration’s climate agenda on the American people, the NHTSA proposed rule runs afoul of the law.

“Nowhere in law did Congress authorize NHTSA to set fuel economy standards that effectively mandate EVs while at the same time force the internal combustion engine out of the market.  In fact, federal statute expressly prohibits NHTSA from considering the fuel economy of EVs when determining maximum feasible CAFE standards for passenger cars and trucks,” the lawmakers wrote.

NHTSA issued its CAFE proposal, last August, mimicking an EPA draft rule. It would increase fuel efficiency starting in 2027 and require passenger cars and light trucks to get 58 miles per gallon by 2032—basically a de facto mandate for mass production of EVs.

“Rather than following EPA with a market-distorting EV mandate, NHTSA should put forth market-driven standards that promote competition among a variety of technologies to ensure the availability of vehicles that contain a mix of all the attributes consumers typically desire, including efficiency,” the lawmakers added. “We strongly urge NHTSA to drop its attempt at central planning and instead put forth a workable proposal that complies with the law and better serves the American people.”

The bicameral letter, which can be read here, was led by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Representative Tim Walberg, R-Mich.

In October, Wicker and Hyde-Smith cosponsored the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales (CARS) Act (S.3094) to counter the Biden administration’s radical environmental agenda and executive overreach by preventing the implementation of a proposed rule and other regulations that seek to limit consumer vehicle choice.  In December, Guest, Ezell, and U.S. Representative Trent Kelly, R-Miss., all voted for House passage of its version of the CARS Act (HR.4468).