Attorneys general from 25 states criticized Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its proposed rule pushing a move to electric vehicles, which the AGs called “a top-to-bottom attempt to restructure the automobile industry.” The letter was sent as part of the public comment process on the EPA rule, which closed on Wednesday.
In May, the EPA released the proposed rule, “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles,” which the agency says is intended to tighten “emissions standards for light-duty passenger cars and light trucks and Class 2b and 3 vehicles.” The rule proposal came in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order in December 2021, which laid out America’s duty to “lead the world” in adopting the types of vehicles favored by climate zealots “by setting a goal that 50 percent of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in 2030 be zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles.”
As the attorneys general note, EPA’s rule proposal is a brazen attempt to grow the agency’s power under the Clean Air Act by forcing car makers to wildly expand electric vehicle manufacturing while cutting back production of gas-powered automobiles. Its consequences would extend far beyond the auto-manufacturing industry, however. The AGs say the rule would not only hurt our economy, but it would also burden our power grids and the businesses and people that rely on them, and compromise our national security.
“The numbers are staggering: EPA expects that the proposal will create enough EVs to penetrate 67% and 46% of overall light- and medium-duty vehicle sales respectively in less than a decade,” the attorneys general wrote. “Forcing that market transformation goes far beyond the statutory limits Congress set. And it is bad policy.”
The attorneys general went on to outline a number of reasons why the EPA should rethink its rule, starting with the fact that the rule goes far beyond the agency’s statutory authority and that it is “arbitrary and capricious.” It relies on a faulty cost-benefit analysis and completely ignores vehicle manufacturing obstacles that will make the rule impossible to meet — including burdens to the power grid and supply chains, and the simple fact that consumer demand doesn’t match government diktats. The proposed rule also wrongly assumes electric vehicles are zero-emission.
As The Federalist’s Kylee Griswold wrote last year, “Do you know where the electricity for ‘clean’ vehicles comes from? Most of it comes from fossil fuels, with one 2020 study showing that these nonrenewables are the primary EV energy source in 43 of the 50 states.” Other studies show not only that electric vehicles are actually worse for the environment than gasoline-powered vehicles, yet EVs also have more quality problems.
“President Biden wants to use the power of government to force a massive shift in demand for automobiles, with the government putting its thumb on the scale in favor of EVs. But Americans don’t want what he is selling,” said Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron, who led the AG letter with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. “This is the latest head-in-the-sand approach to achieving the left’s impossible green-energy fantasies. Government shouldn’t pick winners and losers, and an EPA rule that would kill gas-powered vehicles does just that.”