A coalition of 25 Senate Republicans joined by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., are introducing legislation to block the Biden administration from moving forward with regulations targeting gas-powered car tailpipe emissions.
The lawmakers, led by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Sen. Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., are expected to introduce the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales (CARS) Act later Thursday. The legislation, if passed, would strike down the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal unveiled earlier this year that would significantly tighten vehicle tailpipe emissions restrictions.
“Once again, the Biden administration’s rule-making process is being used to push a radical green agenda and pick winners and losers,” Crapo said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Americans deserve to have access to affordable, reliable vehicles fueled by American-made energy products.
“However, the Biden EPA’s rule change would hurt everyday Americans while simultaneously helping China. Consequences of rules and regulations such as these restrict consumer choice and raise costs for the average American family.”
In April, the EPA proposed regulations that were the most aggressive for federal tailpipe emissions ever crafted. If finalized and implemented, a staggering 67% of new sedan, crossover, SUV and light truck; up to 50% of bus and garbage truck; 35% of short-haul freight tractor; and 25% of long-haul freight tractor purchases could be electric by 2032, the White House projected.
Critics of the rules accused the EPA of attempting to use the proposal as a backdoor electric vehicle (EV) mandate, essentially forcing future purchases of zero-carbon vehicles.
In addition to blocking the proposed tailpipe emissions regulations, the CARS Act would prohibit regulations mandating the use of any specific technology or regulations that limit the availability of new vehicles based on engine type. The legislation would additionally require the EPA to update any regulations that limit new vehicles based on engine type within two years.
“We cannot allow the EPA to continue to impose oppressive and careless regulations that increase our dependence on foreign adversaries like China and make everyday necessities more expensive for Americans and their families,” added Manchin, who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I waited in line for gas in the ’70s because America was too reliant on foreign oil, and I refuse to risk one day waiting in line for a Chinese battery.
“This bipartisan legislation would rescind this federal overreach and protect access to traditional, affordable vehicles,” the West Virginia Democrat added. “As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will continue to lead the fight against EPA’s radical climate agenda to protect our energy, national and economic security.”
In addition to Crapo, Ricketts and Manchin, 23 Senate Republicans joined the effort Thursday as co-sponsors. Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Banking Committee Ranking Member Tim Scott, R-S.C.; and Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch, R-Idaho, were among those co-sponsors.
The CARS Act has also received widespread endorsements from industry groups like the American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and conservative groups like Heritage Action and the National Taxpayers Union.
“We welcome Sen. Crapo’s and Sen. Ricketts’ efforts to safeguard Americans’ freedoms and prevent the EPA from imposing a de facto ban on the sale of new vehicles that use gasoline and other liquid fuels,” said Amanda Eversole, the American Petroleum Institute’s executive vice president and chief advocacy officer.
“The Senate should work expeditiously to pass The Choice in Automobile Retail Sales Act to ensure the EPA’s intrusive government policy doesn’t limit American families’ access to affordable and reliable vehicle options.”
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