OAN’s Abril Elfi
12:50 PM – Friday, September 15, 2023
The United States House of Representatives has passed a bill in favor of legislation targeting California’s environmental restrictions requiring the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs).
On Thursday, the House passed the bill in a 222-190 vote, with 214 Republicans and eight Democrats voting in favor. The Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act prohibits states from limiting the sales of gas-powered vehicles and would revoke any federal permissions for states to do so issued since the beginning of 2022.
In March, a group of Republican lawmakers led by Representative John Joyce (R-Pa.), proposed the bill, which has been sponsored by the energy industry, stating that EV regulations will harm the economy and violate consumer choice.
“This legislation, H.R. 1435, is an option. It is not an anti-electric vehicle legislation,” Joyce said. “For those who would like an electric vehicle, they should have the option of buying one. But it doesn’t help my constituents — 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.”
If passed, the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from granting waivers to states seeking to ban or restrict internal combustion engine automobiles. The EPA is currently authorized under the Clean Air Act to allow California a waiver to apply tougher emissions requirements than the federal government.
The EPA reinstated a waiver last year, allowing a California rule aimed at reducing traffic pollution to go into force. Since then, the state has also planned a total phaseout of new gas-powered automobile sales in order to encourage electric vehicle usage.
The California Air Resources Board, reportedly proposed new restrictions that will prohibit gas-powered vehicles and require electric vehicles by 2035.
Reportedly, Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) applauded the measures, declaring that the state would continue to “lead the revolution towards our zero-emission transportation future.”
After the new California restrictions, 17 other states joined in and adopted the Golden State’s rules on the electric vehicle mandate.
The bill now has to go through the Senate, which if passed, will head to President Joe Biden.
However, the White House issued a statement in which it hinted that Biden would veto the bill if passed by the Senate.
“The Administration strongly opposes passage of H.R. 1435, which would amend the Clean Air Act to preclude EPA from issuing federal preemption waivers for California pollution standards that directly or indirectly limit the sale or use of new motor vehicles with internal combustion engines,” the White House said.
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