Congress Now Voting On Electric Vehicle Mandate

( – House Republicans are anticipated to initiate a floor vote concerning a stand-alone legislation that seeks to prevent the implementation of electric vehicle (EV) mandates in California and other states led by Democrats.

The upcoming House vote revolves around the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, which was introduced by Rep. John Joyce, R-Pa., in March. The bill aims to restrict the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from granting waivers to states that aim to impose restrictions on internal combustion engine vehicles.

In an interview with Fox News Digital on Monday, Representative Joyce stated, “Electric vehicles simply cannot meet the needs of my constituents. The challenging terrain, severe winters, and extreme summer temperatures make electric vehicle usage unreliable and impractical for many in my district.”

He clarified, “H.R. 1435, this legislation, is not against electric vehicles. It offers an option. Those who desire electric vehicles should have the freedom to purchase them. However, it’s not in the best interest of my constituents, or any district, to mandate electric vehicle purchases regardless of individual preferences and market demands.” Currently, the EPA has the authority, under the Clean Air Act, to grant California waivers for implementing stricter emission standards than federal regulations.

In March 2022, the EPA reinstated California’s authority to set its own emission standards and EV sales mandates under the Clean Air Act, allowing other states to adopt California’s rules. This decision followed the Trump administration’s revocation of California’s authority to establish standards contrary to federal guidelines.

Subsequently, on August 25, 2022, the California Air Resources Board, a state environmental agency, announced regulations that would prohibit gas-powered cars and mandate electric vehicles by 2035. California Governor Gavin Newsom applauded these regulations, emphasizing the state’s commitment to “lead the revolution toward a zero-emission transportation future.”

Furthermore, 17 additional states have laws linking their vehicle emissions standards to California’s, meaning that the electric vehicle mandate would affect tens of millions of Americans nationwide. Collectively, these states, adopting California’s 2035 rule, constitute over 40% of total U.S. car purchases.

Rep. Joyce’s legislation, co-sponsored by Reps. Bob Latta, R-Ohio; Jay Obernolte, R-Calif.; and Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., modifies federal law to block attempts to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles in response to California’s EV mandate from the previous year. Joyce emphasized, “Voting against H.R. 1435 essentially equates to banning gas-powered cars. I hope this legislation passes with bipartisan support to demonstrate our commitment, as Congress, to serving the American people and protecting their right to choose.”

The bill successfully passed through the Energy and Commerce Committee in late July, setting the stage for the upcoming floor vote. A companion bill in the Senate was introduced by Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., a month earlier and is still progressing through the legislative process.

Additionally, various energy industry groups have expressed support for the bill, contending that EV mandates could negatively impact American consumers. Chet Thompson, President and CEO of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, endorsed Joyce’s bill in March, stating, “Every American should have the freedom to choose the type of vehicle they want to drive. Restricting consumer choice by eliminating competition and banning entire vehicle powertrains is not the right approach to achieving cleaner transportation or supporting U.S. energy security; in fact, it could undermine both. Liquid fuels will remain essential in meeting future energy demands and reducing the carbon footprint of transportation.”