Wyoming Delegation: Everyone Wants Internal Combustion Engines, Enough With EV Nonsense

In a letter to President Biden this week, Wyoming's congressional delegation said internal combustion engines are what everyone wants, and that an EV proposal from Biden to revise emission standards is “a disaster and needs to go.”

Pat Maio

February 24, 20243 min read

Rivian on towtruck 2 24 24
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Amid reports that the Biden administration is tapping the brakes on stringent emission standards to spur growth for electric vehicle sales, the congressional delegation from Wyoming and 137 other members of Congress want to pull the plug on the mandate altogether and let market forces take over.

The lawmakers wrote in a letter sent this week to President Joe Biden and Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, that most Americans “still prefer the internal combustion engine.”

OMB is the federal agency that manages the country’s purse strings.

The letter was signed by Wyoming Republicans U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, the state’s at-large congresswoman, and U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, who chairs the Senate Western Caucus along with 17 other lawmakers from Western states.

“Electric vehicles are far too expensive and ill-equipped for the long drives and harsh terrain people in Wyoming and across the West travel every day,” said Lummis in disclosing the joint letter.

“President Biden's EV mandate is a disaster and needs to go,” she said.

Don’t Force EVs On People

Consumer interest in buying EVs in Wyoming is tepid at best.

Wyoming boasts the second lowest registration of EVs in the United States with 800, according to the latest figures provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.

The letter comes after reports surfaced recently that the Biden administration wants to ease the mandates on how many EVs manufactured by Detroit’s automakers must comply with stringent emission standards by 2030.

In mid-January, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new EV rules that would require 67% of new light-duty vehicles over 8,500 pounds in weight and 46% of medium-duty vehicles over 10,000 pounds be electric by 2032.

“This again shows that even your own agencies know this mandate is absurd and unrealistic, and threatens to harm both industry and consumers,” the legislators wrote.

“The reality is that most Americans still prefer the internal combustion engine vehicle, and EPA’s proposed rule unnecessarily restricts consumer choice and forces expensive EVs onto Americans at a time when they can least afford it,” they added.

Automakers Also Tepid

Major U.S. automakers recently lowered their targets and pulled back planned investments in EVs because of low consumer demand.

Additionally, automobile dealers across the country have said EVs continue to sit on dealership lots, despite automakers accepting massive losses and unsustainable government incentives.

Some dealerships in Wyoming have dropped the Buick brand over the costs of making mandated investments to sell its upcoming line of electric vehicles.

As of Friday, 17 auto dealerships that sell the pricey machines in Wyoming at an average price of $50,000 have added their signatures to an evergreening letter sent online to Biden that demands he “tap the brakes” on the proposed government electric vehicle mandate.

The lawmakers in their letter also express concern that EVs aren’t ready, especially in harsh environments.

Over the past few weeks, parts of the country experienced temperatures below zero degrees with wind chills of nearly 40 below.

“This cold snap has once again highlighted that this administration’s mandates will not work when EVs are unreliable, especially during the harsh winter months,” they wrote. “In many areas, drivers were left stranded waiting hours for batteries to charge or searching for a nearby charging station.”

EVs can lose 30% of their range in freezing conditions, according to one study cited in the letter.

Pat Maio can be reached at pat@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Pat Maio


Pat Maio is a veteran journalist who covers energy for Cowboy State Daily.