Revolt On Capitol Hill Against Biden's EV Mandate, Lummis Leading Charge In Senate

Sen. Cynthia Lummis on Thursday called on President Biden to drop his controversial EV mandate. Democrats joined Republicans in the House on Wednesday in voting for legislation to kill the mandate, and 4,000 auto dealers want the mandate dropped as well.

Jimmy Orr

December 07, 20233 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Laying out a host of problems associated with President Biden’s mandate to switch over to electric vehicles, Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming, called on the president to drop his controversial rule that would force more than two-thirds of all vehicles sold in the U.S. to be fully electric by 2032.

Sixteen other senators joined Lummis, as chair of the Senate Western Caucus, in a letter to the president telling Biden that the mandate needs to be dropped because it doesn’t make economic sense and infringes upon the rights of Americans to choose what they want to drive.

“President Biden’s EV mandate is everything wrong with big government and shows the danger of putting the cart before the horse,” Lummis said.

"In addition to being too expensive for many hardworking people, EVs have been plagued by reliability issues that make them ill-suited for the vast and harsh terrain most people in Wyoming, and across the West, have to navigate every day,” she said.

She pointed to a study conducted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation that showed fueling electric vehicles costs roughly $17 per gallon when factoring in hidden costs, such as the cost of charging equipment, charging losses and billions of dollars in subsidies.

Dealers Also Say Drop It

It’s not just politicians who are lining up against the big government action. Auto dealerships also don’t want it.

Nearly 4,000 dealers in the U.S., including eight in Wyoming, sent a letter to Biden last week telling him to drop the action because the market for electric vehicles isn’t there.

“Last year, there was a lot of hope and hype about EVs. Early adopters formed an initial line and were ready to buy these vehicles as soon as we had them to sell. But that enthusiasm has stalled,” the dealers said.

Despite deep price cuts, manufacturer incentives and government incentives, people aren’t buying the EVs, they said.

More Dependance On China

Democrats have joined the effort against mandates as well. In a 221-197 vote Wednesday, the House voted for legislation which would strike down Biden’s mandate.

Five Democrats crossed party lines to join the GOP to approved the Choice In Automobile Sales (CARS) Act.

Lummis also said the mandate increases reliance on China as 76% of global battery cell production is controlled by China. By 2040, the demand for minerals to build EV batteries is expected to increase by 30 times.

“Today, up to 90% of the electric vehicle battery supply chain relies on China,” the letter reads.

The batteries that power electric vehicles require critical minerals, including lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite and manganese — and China processes 75% of these minerals.

“Americans have had the power to choose what car they drive since Henry Ford invented the automobile, and that should not change,” Lummis said.

Despite criticism from automakers, auto dealers, unions and Congress, President Biden doubled down on the mandate and said if the House legislation made its way to the desk, he would veto it.

The bill would “catastrophically impair EPA’s ability to issue automotive regulations that protect public health, save consumers money, strengthen American energy security and protect American investments in the vehicle technologies of the future,’' the White House said.

Wyoming’s senior senator John Barrasso joined Lummis in sending the letter.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.