The GOP members in the House are anticipated to prompt a floor vote on a distinct bill that would hinder states led by Democrats, like California, from setting forth their electric vehicle (EV) mandates.
The upcoming vote will address the “Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act”, penned by Rep. John Joyce, a Republican from Pennsylvania. If approved, this bill would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from granting special permissions to states that wish to restrict or abolish vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.
Rep. Joyce, speaking to Fox News Digital, stated that the electric vehicles are not feasible for many of his constituents given the challenging geographical and climatic conditions in their region. He emphasized that the bill is not against EVs but aims to provide consumers with the freedom to choose their vehicles rather than forcing them into one particular choice.
Currently, the Clean Air Act allows the EPA to let California set more stringent emission standards than the national benchmark. In March of the previous year, the EPA reinstated California’s privilege to dictate its emission regulations, which other states can also embrace. This re-establishment occurred after the Trump administration had previously rescinded this privilege. Later, in August 2022, California’s environmental body unveiled regulations intending to phase out gasoline cars and promote EVs by 2035.
Moreover, 17 other states have aligned their vehicle emission criteria with California, which implies a vast section of the American populace would be affected. The states supporting California’s 2035 directive account for over 40% of the nation’s car acquisitions.
Rep. Joyce’s proposal, backed by Reps. Bob Latta (R-OH), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), seeks to counteract efforts to suppress gasoline car sales, a reaction to California’s EV directive from the previous year.
Rep. Joyce articulated that opposing this bill equates to rejecting gas-powered vehicles. He anticipates a bipartisan endorsement of the legislation, highlighting its role in safeguarding consumer freedom. Following its passage by the Energy and Commerce Committee in late July, a floor vote is due this week. Meanwhile, a counterpart bill is progressing through the Senate, presented by Sen. Markwayne Mullin, a Republican from Oklahoma.
Furthermore, energy sector representatives endorse the bill, asserting that EV directives could disadvantage American consumers.
Chet Thompson, the President and CEO of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, backed Joyce’s proposal earlier in the year, emphasizing the importance of consumer choice and the pivotal role liquid fuels will play in the future of transportation.