Miss. Senators Cosponsor CARS Act to Stop EPA Rule and Protect Consumer Choice

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) are cosponsoring legislation to slam the brakes on a sweeping tailpipe emissions rule and other Biden administration regulations that seek to limit consumer vehicle choice and push American drivers to buy pricey electric vehicles (EVs).

Wicker and Hyde-Smith late last week helped introduce the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales (CARS) Act (S.3094), which would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from finalizing, implementing, or enforcing its draft emission rule and stop other regulations that limit the availability of new motor vehicles based on that vehicle’s engine type.

“President Biden has consistently pursued a radical environmental agenda at the expense of the American people,” said Wicker.  “At a time of unprecedented inflation, taxpayers cannot afford another attack on their pocketbooks.  This legislation would stop the administration’s misguided rule in its tracks.”

“It’s no secret that Biden’s EPA habitually imposes standards that do more harm than good to industry, and this latest tailpipe emissions scheme is the most aggressive yet.  It reeks of central government planning that would be more at home in a nondemocratic country,” said Hyde-Smith.  “This legislation is our effort to check this executive overreach that would only further disrupt markets, add to an already injured supply chain, and limit consumer choices.”

The EPA in April issued a draft rule titled Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Year 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles, which sets stringent emissions standards for criteria pollutants and greenhouse gasses for certain vehicles.  It is the most aggressive tailpipe emissions proposal ever crafted and a de facto mandate for mass production of EVs.  The EPA projected that, if finalized, over two-thirds of all new vehicles could be electric by 2032. 

The average price of an EV is over $17,000 more than the average price of a gas-powered vehicle, according to data from Kelley Blue Book.  The administration’s continued push for EVs threatens to hurt everyday Americans and costs auto workers their jobs while simultaneously helping China, given that China continues to dominate the EV supply chain.

Introduced by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), the CARS Act would:

  • Prohibit the EPA from finalizing, implementing or enforcing its proposed emissions rule;
  • Prohibit the use of authority under the Clean Air Act to issue regulations that mandate the use of any specific technology or that limit the availability of new motor vehicles based on that vehicle’s engine type.  This includes any regulation prescribed on or after Jan. 1, 2021;
  • Require the EPA to update any regulations since January 1, 2021, that result in the limited availability of new vehicles based on that vehicle’s engine within two years; and
  • End the EPA’s radical agenda, which is driving up costs for people and handing the keys of America’s auto industry to China.

Additional cosponsors include U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved companion legislation (HR.4468) in early September and reported to the full House.

S.3094 has been endorsed by, among others, the American Farm Bureau, National Automobile Dealers Association, American Petroleum Institute, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, National Propane Gas Association, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, Energy Marketers of America, American Energy Alliance, National Taxpayers Union, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Specialty Equipment Market Association, Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity.