Miss. Lawmakers Urge Biden to End Costly & Hasty Transition to Electric Vehicles

Wicker, Hyde-Smith, Kelly, Guest & Ezell Among 140 Lawmakers Seeking to Stop EPA Tailpipe Emissions Rule

February 26, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and U.S. Representatives Trent Kelly, R-Miss., Michael Guest, R-Miss., and Mike Ezell, R-Miss., have signed a bicameral letter urging President Biden to withdraw an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rule that would require 67 percent of new light-duty vehicles and 46 percent of medium-duty vehicles to be electric by 2032.

The Mississippi lawmakers are among 140 members of Congress who signed the letter to President Biden and White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young that argues the EPA rule, titled “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles,” amounts to a de facto mandate for EVs by forcing the phase out of the internal combustion engine vehicle.  In January, the EPA submitted the rule to OMB for review and approval.

The lawmakers argue that the EPA rule should be rejected because it “is contradictory to all conventional predictions about where the automobile industry is headed in the coming years, including this administration’s own Department of Energy.”

“As reported in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook in 2021, 4 of 5 new vehicles will still run on liquid fuels in 2050, making this rule not just absurd to the average citizen, but to your own agencies as well.  In fact, recent reporting from sources inside your Administration indicates that EPA now intends to ease the rule’s requirements through 2030 to give automakers more time to comply.  This again shows that even your own agencies know this mandate is absurd and unrealistic, and threatens to harm both industry and consumers,” the lawmakers wrote.

“The reality is that most Americans still prefer the internal combustion engine vehicle, and EPA’s proposed rule unnecessarily restricts consumer choice and forces expensive EVs onto Americans at a time when they can least afford it.  Major U.S. automakers have recently lowered their targets and pulled back planned investments in EVs due to low consumer demand and struggling EV units.  Further, automobile dealers across the country have said EVs continue to sit unpurchased on dealership lots, despite automakers accepting massive losses and unsustainable government incentives,” the lawmakers wrote.

“The EPA’s proposed rule is burdensome and inconsistent with the reality of the industry and needs to be rejected for the good of American families and businesses,” the lawmakers concluded.

Read the signed letter to Biden and the OMB director here.

The Mississippi lawmakers signed a similar letter in January that called on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to withdraw the Biden administration’s proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks.

In December, Kelly, Guest, and Ezell voted with the House to pass the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales (CARS) Act (HR.4468), which would prevent implementation of the EPA proposed rule and other regulations that seek to limit consumer vehicle choice.  Wicker and Hyde-Smith are original cosponsors of the CARS Act (S.3094) in the Senate.