WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a Senate Appropriations Committee member, joined Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) and a bicameral group of colleagues in urging House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to prevent the Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing its rule to require more than two-thirds of all vehicles sold in the U.S. to be fully electric in fewer than nine years.
The lawmakers urged Johnson and McConnell to block funding for the mandate by including language from the House Appropriations Committee’s Interior-Environment Appropriations bill, which prevents the EPA from using any funding to implement the rule, in the FY24 government funding package.
“While we are supportive of the free market producing electric vehicles to satisfy a market need, this misguided EPA mandate would have an immediate, detrimental impact on the choices and affordability of cars, trucks, and SUVs available to our constituents,” the lawmakers wrote.
“The EPA’s proposed mandate will increase dependency on supply chains controlled by the Chinese government. Today, up to 90% of the electric vehicle battery supply chain relies on China. The batteries that power electric vehicles require critical minerals, including lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, and manganese—and China processes 75% of these minerals. Additionally, China controls 76% of global battery cell production capacity. China’s dominance is only expected to continue for the foreseeable future with 67% of all forecasted battery cell manufacturing controlled by China in 2032. In contrast to China, the United States has 7% of global battery production capacity,” they continued.
The lawmakers also noted that the rule would jeopardize America’s national security and limit consumer choice, writing, “Not only would the EPA’s proposed regulation hurt America’s national security, but it would severely limit consumer choice for affordable vehicles that fit the needs of the average American. At a time of inflation, high interest rates, and rising costs, the last thing Americans need is to find both new and used vehicles unaffordable because of an EPA mandate.”
Currently, nearly 4,000 automotive dealers report that their lots are full of electric vehicles that the public does not want. They have asked President Biden for relief from his misguided sales mandate for electric vehicles.
The full letter is available here.