Hugh Jackson, Nevada Current
January 22, 2024
Gov. Joe Lombardo and 15 other Republican governors called on Pres. Joe Biden Monday to “change course on your current mandate that two out of every three vehicles be battery electrics by 2032.”
In their letter, the governors cite a December fact sheet from the White House. However, the White House document the letter cites mostly outlines “sustainable transportation” guidelines for federal employee travel, and says nothing about mandating a quota on electric vehicle production or sales.
The policy the governors appear to be referring to, rather, is a tailpipe emission reduction standard proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in April 2023. “Depending on the compliance pathways manufacturers select to meet the standards,” the agency said in a statement announcing that proposal, “EPA projects that EVs could account for 67% of new light-duty vehicle sales and 46% of new medium-duty vehicle sales” by 2032.
The EPA underscored that the proposal envisions the automobile industry meeting the standards through a “broad suite of available emission control technologies,” adding that the standards are “designed to allow manufacturers to meet the performance-based standards however works best for their vehicle fleets,” including “widespread use of filters to reduce gasoline particulate matter emissions.”
The auto industry, however, contends that the emission standards will effectively require it to accelerate a shift to EVs that are too costly and that a vast majority of consumers have thus far been reluctant to embrace.
That argument was echoed by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives last month, who passed a bill to block the EPA’s proposed standards. Biden promised to veto the legislation if the Senate also passed it and sent it to his desk.
In their letter to Biden, Lombardo and his Republican colleagues said “even with deep price cuts, manufacturers’ incentives, and generous government funding, federal mandates on electric vehicles are unrealistic,” and called for “allowing the free market to determine,” the EV industry’s development.
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