Western Caucus Slams EPA Emissions Rule

Mar 21, 2024 | Politics

Washington, D.C. (RELEASE) March 21st, 2024 — Senate Western Caucus Chair Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Vice Chair Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) slammed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule for light-duty and medium-duty vehicle emission standards. This rule will pave the way for President Biden’s EV mandate and will be incredibly dangerous for western states where people rely on gas-powered cars for transportation.

“For more than three years, this administration has stretched its power and attempted to circumvent congressional authority to force its outrageous EV mandate on the people of Wyoming,” said Lummis. “Rather than forcing families across the west to purchase expensive EVs that are ill-equipped to handle harsh winters and terrain at a time when they’re already spending more money than ever to keep up with soaring inflation rates, I am joining my colleagues in protecting consumer choice by working to overturn this administration’s tone-deaf mandate.”

“This rule is delusional. This is the Biden administration’s attempt to get rid of the internal-combustion engine without congressional authority. Together, we will be introducing Congressional Review Act legislation to overturn Biden’s EV mandate. Congress must take action to keep vehicle costs down, protect our free-market economy, and defend consumer choice,” said Ricketts and Sullivan. “We can’t allow Biden to make us more reliant on foreign adversaries like China who control the critical minerals needed for electric vehicles. This rule just doesn’t work. Access to a vehicle is a pathway out of poverty for tens of millions of working-class Americans. Biden’s rule will make it harder for them and all Americans to buy and maintain a vehicle. This rule will also create an energy and supply-chain crisis. We lack the power generation, infrastructure, and critical minerals needed to make Biden’s mandate work. Most importantly, current EV technology will not work for states like Nebraska or Alaska. Extreme cold, isolated communities, and long-distance drives will make car graveyards a reality across America.”

BACKGROUND
Title II of the Clean Air Act (CAA) addresses mobile (transportation-based) sources of air pollution emissions via the tailpipe by seeking to reduce pollutants from both on-road and nonroad vehicles (vehicle emission standards), as well as transportation (gasoline & diesel) fuel. Within Title II, CAA section 202 provides the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the authority to set emission standards for new motor vehicles.

Beginning in 2010, EPA began to interpret CAA section 202 as providing the Agency authority to regulate greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions from cars and trucks. Between 2010 and the end of 2022, EPA had promulgated three rounds of GHG standards for light-duty vehicles covering model years 2012–2026, and two rounds of GHG standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks covering model years 2014–2027.

Light and Medium Duty Vehicles Rule: On Wednesday, April 12, 2023, EPA announced the “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium Duty Vehicles,” a proposed rule to reduce emissions from light-duty and medium-duty vehicles starting with model year (MY) 2027 through MY2032. In this rule, EPA is proposing multipollutant emissions standards for light-duty passenger cars and light trucks and Class 2b and 3 vehicles (“medium-duty vehicles”). EPA estimates that due to this proposal electric vehicles (EVs) will make up two- thirds of new vehicles by MY2032, a whopping 67 percent of overall vehicle production. In 2022, EVs accounted for a mere 5.8 percent of new cars sold in the US. The administration unveiled their finalized light and medium-duty vehicles rule today.

Heavy Duty Vehicles Rule: On Wednesday, April 12, 2023, EPA announced the “Greenhouse Gas Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3” which would apply to heavy-duty vocational vehicles such as delivery trucks, refuse haulers, dump trucks, public utility trucks, transit, shuttle, school buses and trucks typically used to haul freight. These standards build on the Heavy-Duty NOx standards for MY 2027 and beyond, which EPA finalized in December 2022, representing the third phase of EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan. The administration is expected to unveil their finalized heavy-duty vehicles rule in the coming weeks.