Hinds Today

Mississippi lawmakers call for withdrawal of Biden's EV mandate

By Hinds Today

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith, along with U.S. Representatives Michael Guest and Mike Ezell, have joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in calling for the withdrawal of the Biden Administration's proposed fuel standards that would essentially force Americans to purchase electric vehicles (EVs).

The lawmakers, among 121 Senate and House members, have signed a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urging the withdrawal of the proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. In the letter, they express concern about the potential negative impacts of the proposed standards.

"NHTSA's proposed standards, when coupled with the Environmental Protection Agency's 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 the NHTSA's proposed rule goes against the law and exceeds its authority. They point out that nowhere in the law did Congress authorize the NHTSA to set fuel economy standards that effectively mandate EVs while forcing the internal combustion engine out of the market. Federal statute even expressly prohibits the NHTSA from considering the fuel economy of EVs when determining maximum feasible CAFE standards for passenger cars and trucks.

The NHTSA's CAFE proposal, which was issued last August, mirrors an EPA draft rule. It aims to increase fuel efficiency starting in 2027 and require passenger cars and light trucks to achieve 58 miles per gallon by 2032, essentially mandating mass production of EVs.

The lawmakers believe that instead of imposing an EV mandate, the NHTSA should develop market-driven standards that promote competition among a variety of technologies. They emphasize the importance of ensuring the availability of vehicles that meet consumers' preferences, including efficiency.

"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 lawmakers added.

The bicameral letter, led by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Ted Cruz, along with U.S. Representative Tim Walberg, can be read in full here.

In their efforts to counter the Biden administration's environmental agenda and executive overreach, Senators Wicker and Hyde-Smith cosponsored the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales (CARS) Act. This act aims to prevent the implementation of proposed rules and regulations that limit consumer vehicle choice.

The Mississippi lawmakers' call for the withdrawal of the Biden Administration's EV mandate highlights concerns about the potential negative impacts of such a policy. They argue that market-driven standards, rather than a mandate, would better serve the American people and promote competition among various automotive technologies.