The Biden administration and the EPA released their newest set of rules on Wednesday (April 12) that is the strictest yet, and calls for a drastic reduction of gas-powered vehicles. While the new environmental guidelines are a hit with advocates, there are plenty who think the plan is too aggressive, caters to China, and will be bolstered by dark money funding.
The New Environmental Rules
The new pollution standards will affect vehicle model years 2027 through 2032 and the White House said these regulations will reduce carbon emissions by nearly ten billion tons by 2055. The administration also estimates it will save consumers an average of $12,000 during the vehicle’s lifetime. To achieve this by 2032, 67% of new sedan, SUV, light truck, and crossover vehicles will need to become electric, as would nearly 50% of garbage trucks and buses, 35% of short-haul tractors, and 25% of long-haul tractors. “Cars and truck manufacturers have made clear that the future of transportation is electric,” the White House stated in a fact sheet.
The first set of proposed standards, the “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium Duty Vehicles,” the EPA claims “would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to more than twice the total U.S. CO2 emissions in 2022.” The agency said for these styles of vehicles, the switch to electric “would significantly reduce climate and other harmful air pollution, unlocking significant benefits for public health, especially in communities that have borne the greatest burden of poor air quality.” The switch would also, according to EPA, lower vehicle maintenance costs and save money on fuel. The “Greenhouse Gas Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles,” otherwise known as Phase 3, would apply to larger vehicles such as dump trucks, transit, and school buses.
Helping China While Hurting Americans
Opponents of the new environmental regulations argue America isn’t ready for such a drastic switch to electric vehicles and since China controls about 78% of the world’s EV battery production, we would become more dependent on that country for our resources. “EPA’s proposal to effectively ban gasoline and diesel vehicles is bad for consumers, the environment, our freedom of mobility and U.S. national security,” said American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers President and CEO Chet Thompson. He added:
“It’s unconscionable that the Administration would propose this knowing full well that China controls 80% of global battery production capacity, and even with robust U.S. investment to fortify our own electric grid and grow our battery supply chains by a magnitude of 10, we will not come close to overtaking China’s dominant position and will be left more dependent and financially beholden to them as a result.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) mentioned other challenges these new rules would either create or exacerbate:
“These misguided emissions standards were made without considering the supply chain challenges American automakers are still facing, the lack of sufficiently operational electric vehicle charging infrastructure, or the fact that it takes nearly a decade to permit a mine to extract the minerals needed to make electric vehicles, forcing businesses to look to China for these raw materials.”
She makes some valid points. In an Automotive News commentary about the 2023 supply chain outlook, guest author Mark Barrott wrote, “The truth is that demand exceeds supply in the automotive industry right now, and inflation, while slowing, remains above inflationary targets. Furthermore, no massive new suppliers are on the immediate horizon for hard-to-procure components such as semiconductors, rare earth metals or other battery elements.” He added, “In addition, the federal government promises to continue promoting EV adoption through the Inflation Reduction Act and infrastructure bill — obligating new supply chains in the transition.”
The EPA said there are more than 130,000 public chargers across the country. But is that even near close enough to meet demands? According to Forbes Advisor, there were 278,063,737 personal and commercial vehicles registered in the US in 2021.
What about the cost and time needed to charge these batteries? There are different levels: Levels 1 and 2 and Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC); however, most hybrid vehicles currently on the market don’t work with the latter. Level 1 is the slowest and can take 40-50 hours to fully charge an electric battery. These are the types you can plug into a wall, such as in a garage. Level 2 works on a 240V for residential or 208V for commercial, and according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, can take up to ten hours for a battery vehicle or one to two hours for a hybrid. The DCFC can take from just 20 minutes to an hour. And the cost of charging will depend on where you are and the cost of kilowatt-hours (kWh). “Drivers in Maine, for example, will spend nearly twice as much per kWh as those in Wyoming,” explained MotorBiscuit.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member John Barrasso (R-WY) argued: “His [Biden’s] misguided policies are hurting American families while helping China. The president’s disastrous energy transition is making us more reliant on our enemies while driving up prices for Americans. The ‘electrification of everything’ is not a solution. It’s a road to higher prices and fewer choices.”
Did the EPA Coordinate with Liberal Dark Money Networks?
Fox News suggests the EPA “leadership has repeatedly consulted left-wing environmental groups tied to a massive liberal dark money network on policy matters.” They back up this claim according to “internal agency documents” they received.
According to the outlet, EPA Administrator Michael Regan has been meeting with leaders of green groups such as the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and League of Conservation Voters (LCV) which have reportedly received funding from “the massive Arabella Advisors-managed dark money network” and Swiss donor Hansjorg Wyss’ funding network.
Fox reported, “The NRDC and LCV have both received large funding from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a key cog in the nation’s largest dark money network operated by Arabella Advisors.” Wyss sits on the Center for American Progress board of directors and was also a founding member and has received money from the Sixteen Thirty Fund as well.
Mandy Gunasekara, the EPA’s chief of staff during Donald Trump’s administration, told Fox:
“It’s so disappointing to see the Biden administration engaging with these extremist groups that push an unfounded ideology that is all about making fossil fuel energy — that literally runs our entire economy — more expensive and less accessible.
“We have shortages, and we have people behind on utility payments before a single cold front has moved across the United States. The Biden administration regularly colludes with these groups to improve their bottom line while ignoring the needs of American families.”
Daniel Turner, Executive Director of Power The Future, said: “Biden’s newest power grab is the latest attempt to force a green agenda on an unwilling electorate in order to reward his eco-extremist supporters.” Kelley Blue Book estimated the average cost of an EV was $64,338 compared to a compact gas-powered vehicle at around $26,101 as of 2022. And the Department of Energy reported 2021 gas vehicles, on average, had a range of 403 miles compared to around 234 miles for the same year’s electric vehicles.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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