In Washington today, three key battles are being fought over electric vehicles (EVs) that have caught the attention of EV advocates and opponents.
First, on Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on legislation known as the Vehicle Purchasing Choice Preservation Act. This bill seeks to amend the Clean Air Act and prevent states from banning the sale of internal combustion vehicles. This is a direct response to California’s plan to phase out gasoline vehicles by 2035, which has drawn criticism from Republican lawmakers. The bill would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from granting future waivers to states to set their own vehicle emissions rules.
Second, the US Court of Appeals for the Columbia Circuit will hear oral arguments today on challenges to cleaning up the car standards established by the Biden administration. Republican attorneys general and fossil fuel industry groups argue that these rules are illegal and harmful to the economy. The lawsuits focus on two main issues: an EPA rule to reduce air pollution from vehicles and fuel efficiency standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Experts believe that the plaintiffs’ arguments are unlikely to hold up in court.
Finally, auto workers in Detroit have threatened to strike if a new contract agreement is not reached with major US manufacturers by midnight. Workers are concerned about the shift to electric vehicles and how it will affect job security and wages. The Biden administration has emphasized that the shift to EVs will create more union jobs and provides tax incentives and auto loans. However, these promises did not ease the concerns of auto workers.
In addition to these battles, the US Forest Service announced a $1 billion investment to plant trees in communities across the country as part of efforts to combat climate change and improve urban environments.
In short, these developments highlight the ongoing debates and challenges surrounding electric vehicle adoption in the United States. Although there is momentum for EVs, especially in states like California, there are many obstacles to overcome, including political opposition and concerns from some industries and workers.