Republicans in the House of Representatives rallied together Friday to condemn President Biden’s proposed new rule on vehicle emissions that they say amounts to another step towards the administration’s “radical” goal of requiring half of all new vehicles to be fully electric by 2030.
According to the proposed rule announced by the administration earlier this month, automakers would be required to ensure a massive 56% greenhouse gas emissions reduction in 2032 vehicles compared to 2026 models, likely forcing companies to produce electric alternatives more rapidly.
In a letter sent to the White House on Friday, 33 House Republicans led by Rep. Keith Self, R-Texas, said the new rule “will have devastating consequences for manufacturers and consumers” if implemented, and would likely increase America’s reliance on China’s stronghold on the electric vehicle (EV) battery industry.
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“The rule ignores how EV batteries are obtained. Batteries are made using costly rare earth minerals such as lithium, cobalt and graphite. Manufacturers will struggle to acquire these minerals in a timely manner,” the letter said.
“Moreover, many of these minerals are imported from Communist China, which produces 70% of the world’s EV batteries. Just as our great power competition with China heats up, your rule would have the practical effect of supporting — and deepening our dependence on — China’s massive EV industry,” it said.
The letter expressed concern that the U.S. electric grid wasn’t ready for half of all cars to be fully electric, arguing more charging stations and grid upgrades would be required beforehand. It also argued that EV batteries posed their own environmental hazards by “exacerbating water pollution and contributing to toxic waste,” among other negative consequences for consumers.
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President Joe Biden makes his entrance on November 17, 2021 at General Motors’ Factory ZERO electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan. (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
It then called for the administration to answer how it planned to promote the materials needed for EV batteries without increasing dependence on China, what it had learned from America’s chip shortage, if it had considered the negative effects the proposed rule could have on the car market, what it would say to consumers who don’t want to drive an EV, and what evidence it had to show the electric grid could currently support such an increase in EVs.
In a statement shared following the group’s letter to Biden, Self described what he saw as a direct line between the administration’s proposed new rule and American liberty itself.
“Climate change extremism has served as the pretext for unrestricted encroachments on American liberty. The Biden administration’s latest proposal to curb emission standards hypocritically ignores the significant environmental harm that EV battery production causes and their toxicity,” he said.
Then-Rep.-elect Keith Self, R-Texas, is seen outside a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
The Biden administration has also faced sharp criticism over its calls for a 100% EV military, something critics have said is putting “electric tanks” and a green agenda ahead of America’s national security.
Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.