By U.S. Senator Deb Fischer
The Washington Times
Last month, President Joe Biden announced that he and Vice President Kamala Harris are running for reelection in 2024 — they’re running to “finish the job.”
What job does President Biden want to finish during a second term in the White House?
Well, the day he entered office, he started working hard on relentless, radical climate mandates.
As a member of the U.S. Senate, I’ve pushed back against excessive, top-down regulations from this administration time and time again. Most recently, the Senate passed my resolution to overturn a stifling Biden regulation on heavy-duty vehicles. That rule would affect every consumer, agricultural producer, and trucker around the country by raising costs.
Now, in the name of climate, the Biden administration wants to control which cars Americans are allowed to drive.
In April, the EPA proposed new regulations cracking down on vehicle emissions. These standards would make it harder for people to drive gas-powered cars, in an attempt to coerce Americans into purchasing new electric vehicles (EVs).
The Biden administration’s “emissions plan” is a pipe dream. The EPA wants 67 percent of the cars in the country to be electric by 2032, just nine years from now. Last year, EVs only accounted for six percent of new automobile sales. And the International Energy Agency predicts that by 2030, EVs will only make up 15 percent of the vehicles in our country.
The administration is using its imagination to try to create a world that real Americans don’t even want. In the process, it’s ignoring the difficulties a dramatic federal mandate will pose for infrastructure, energy security, and consumers.
Heavy cars like electric vehicles take a toll on our roads and bridges. Their weight pulverizes the road bed, necessitating more maintenance, more upgrades, and more costs. Right now, though, the sale or charging of EVs doesn’t contribute anything to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which provides 90 percent of federal highway assistance.
Gas-powered cars pay into the HTF, which repairs wear and tear from vehicles on the highway. The HTF exists to fix exactly the type of damage that heavy EVs can cause, so it’s only fair that both gas-powered and electric vehicles contribute to the fund. I plan to introduce a bill soon that would fix this discrepancy.
Another infrastructure challenge created by an EV mandate relates to the power grid. Electric vehicles rely on the electric power grid, and a massive increase in EV use could cause serious issues with the grid. During a heat wave last September, power authorities in California had to ask residents to avoid charging their electric cars in the evenings, for fear that the power grid would malfunction from being overwhelmed. We can only imagine what might happen if EV use increased exponentially like the Biden administration is trying to push.
If EV use is going to increase, it should be a natural growth driven by consumers, so power producers and electrical grids have time to grow and adapt to new spikes in electricity demand.
The repercussions of a federal EV mandate go beyond American infrastructure. China completely dominates the EV battery supply chain, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
China accounts for 70 percent of the world’s EV battery cell production capacity, according to the International Energy Agency’s Global EV Outlook 2022. Our domestic supply isn’t anywhere near the demand that would result from this new regulation. The irony is that many of the same activists who support an electric vehicle mandate oppose the U.S. mining needed to make EV batteries. They would rather use horrible mining practices in other countries and support dangerous working conditions for the miners.
Unsurprisingly, upending our transportation infrastructure and energy security for an EV mandate isn’t popular. A recent Pew Research poll found that the majority of Americans oppose the Biden administration’s plan to phase out gasoline-powered cars and trucks by 2035.
Americans have the right to buy electric vehicles if they so choose, and I support that right — but they should also have the right not to buy one. The Biden administration’s plan for a utopia of perfectly green vehicles is a cute idea, but it’s completely out of touch with the reality of our transportation system. It’s also out of touch with Americans’ real needs and desires. For the sake of Americans across the country, this EV mandate is one job President Biden shouldn’t finish.
Read the full piece here.