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Republican AGs fume over EPA's proposed electric vehicle push

"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," Cameron said.

Published: July 6, 2023 6:06pm

A group of conservative attorneys general are pushing back on a proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency they say is an attempt to forcibly expedite the construction of electric vehicles and reduce the production of fossil-fueled automobiles.

Led by AGs Daniel Cameron, Ky., and Patrick Morrisey, W-Va., the group also includes AGs from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

The EPA proposal sets emissions reduction targets for future car models of varying classes over the next few years.

In a letter to the EPA, the group called the proposal "unlawful and misguided," contending it represented "the next phase in a top-to-bottom attempt to restructure the automobile industry."

"[T]he Proposed Rule’s approach will create more problems than it purports to solve," they wrote. "We urge EPA to adopt instead feasible standards that maintain our nation’s air quality without risking consumer safety, economic stability, and national security."

It went on to recount the EPA's history of regulating motor vehicle emissions before pointing to an executive order from President Joe Biden demanding that federal agencies ramp up their efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The AGs went on to contend that the rule exceeds the statutory authority of the EPA and relies on inaccurate assumptions. The group contends that electric vehicles use energy derived primarily from CO2-emitting sources and that the agency's treatment of them as zero emissions options in erroneous.

They also expressed reservations about the American power grid's readiness to handle such a dramatic switch toward electric vehicles and the preparedness of the automotive industry's supply chains to accommodate the production shift.

Moreover, the AGs pointed to consumer reluctance to embrace electric vehicles, highlighting higher costs and the relative dearth of available charging stations as fueling hesitation.

"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," Cameron said of the EPA plan. "But Americans don’t want what he is selling. 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."

Consumer advocates also objected to the rule as imposing higher costs. Consumers' Research Executive Director Will Hild called the proposal "an assault on consumers."

"By forcing car manufactures to focus on producing expensive, unwanted electric vehicles, the EPA is raising the costs for traditional automobiles, lowering the available stock of the most desirable vehicles, and forcing customers to subsidize expensive EV's for wealthier consumers," he asserted.

Alliance for Consumers Executive Director O.H. Skinner, meanwhile, echoed that sentiment.

"The current EPA proposal is best understood as yet another attempt to weaponize the agency rulemaking process, and the power of the federal government, to wipe away things that everyday consumers overwhelmingly like, use, and rely upon for life’s essential needs," he said in a statement.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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