Eight Democrats joined their Republican colleagues in support of the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, which was introduced in March by Rep. John Joyce of Pennsylvania.
If the bill passes the Democrat-controlled Senate and is signed off by President Biden, it would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from allowing states to limit the sale of non-electric vehicles.
Under the current rules, the EPA can permit states to enact regulations that are more stringent than those at the federal level. In 2022, it granted such an exception to California, which then moved to require that all new vehicles be electric by 2035.
Since then, 17 other states have adopted California's standards, thereby impacting more than 40 percent of all vehicle purchases in the United States.
In an interview with Fox News, Joyce explained that the legislation is "not an anti-electric vehicle," and simply gives Americans the choice. "For those who would like an electric vehicle, they should have the option of buying one. But ... it doesn't help in any district to require an individual to buy an EV regardless of what they want and regardless of the demands of the market."
House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers emphasized that the path to more energy efficient transport "is not through restrictive government mandates," slamming the EPA, California, and other Biden allies for trying to do just that.
He noted as his motivation for introducing the bill the fact that "electric vehicles cannot meet the demands" of his constituents. "Coupling the mountains with the harsh winters and the intense heat of summers makes driving an electric vehicle both unreliable and ultimately unrealistic."
His sentiments have been shared by many others across the country in areas where internal combustion engines are not only preferred, but in some cases necessary. Additionally, EV charging has not be optimal, as the infrastructure is not able to keep up with drivers.
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