April 18, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) today slammed the Biden administration’s burdensome new emissions requirements on American-made vehicles. If enacted, the rule would require up to two-thirds of cars and trucks in the U.S. to be electric in just eight years, and threaten the availability of gas-powered vehicles necessary in agriculture and less densely populated areas like Nebraska.
“These detached-from-reality requirements are going to have a disastrous impact on the wellbeing of American families, American drivers, and American businesses,” Ricketts said in his opening remarks. “Rules like this tell states like mine that the EPA in Washington, D.C. doesn’t care about our quality of life and doesn’t understand who we are. It restricts freedom, shrugs off the higher cost of electric vehicles while families are struggling, ignores supply chain and infrastructure challenges, and disregards a better solution: American biofuels like ethanol.”
Ricketts comments came during a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Climate, Clean Air, and Nuclear Safety.
During his questioning, Ricketts highlighted the harmful impact this rule would have on our trucking industry and the various sectors of the economy that rely on it. He also asked witnesses about the energy companies’ inability to meet the increased energy demands caused by this mandate. All of which will ultimately raise prices on consumers.
Ricketts previously criticized the rule in his weekly column, “Mandate Madness,” last week.
Watch the video HERE.
TRANSCRIPT OF RICKETTS’ OPENING REMARKS:
“As we all know, last week, the EPA announced burdensome new emissions requirements on American-made vehicles, including both light cars and heavy-duty trucks.
“These detached-from-reality requirements are going to have a disastrous impact on the wellbeing of American families, American drivers, and American businesses.
“Rules like this tell states like mine that the EPA in Washington, D.C. doesn’t care about our quality of life and doesn’t understand who we are.
“It restricts freedom, shrugs off the higher cost of electric vehicles while families are struggling, ignores supply chain and infrastructure challenges, and disregards a better solution: American biofuels like ethanol.
“This rulemaking claims to be technology neutral while simultaneously touting on about the push towards the administration’s goals of an entirely electric vehicle America.
“Let’s not forget the average cost of electric vehicles was around $65,000. That’s about 33% or 1/3 higher than the average cost of a car right now. And frankly, that’s more than most American households’ income. In Nebraska, you’re basically asking the average family to spend their entire year’s income on buying this car. This administration wants to take Nebraska families’ entire income to do that.
“As far as claims that this rule will lower carbon emissions, the increased cost will actually have the opposite impact because when you increase the cost of the average vehicle because you’re going to drive this mandate for electric vehicles. That means new and used vehicles will become more expensive which means people are going to hold onto them longer before being able to purchase a new vehicle and that means you’re going to have more emissions.
“The EPA mandate also fails to address the many logistics challenges that come from a massive switch to EVs.
“America lacks sufficient EV charging stations to cover the sharp increase in demand.
“President Biden’s own Department of Energy map in the northern part of Nebraska shows no EV chargers on a 340-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 20 from Allen to Hay Springs.
“Many Nebraska communities are hundreds of miles from the nearest charging station.
“I hail from the beef state, and I can guarantee you that electric trucks are really not practical when you’re hauling livestock. You can’t just pull over on the side of the road to charge for two hours when you’re hauling a truckload of cattle in 90-degree heat. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s not feasible.
“In tandem with these rulemakings, President Biden has refused to support American energy production, going after traditional power plants, canceling lease sales, and refusing to expedite permits for new construction.
“Instead of developing our national resources, his policies are increasing our reliance on foreign adversaries.
“An American Transportation Research Institute study found that full electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet would utilize a large percentage of the country’s current electric generation capacity.
“Domestic long-haul trucking would use more than 10 percent of the electricity generated in our country today, while an electric U.S. vehicle fleet would use more than 40 percent.
“This will cause an incredible strain on the electric grid, at a time when the Biden Administration is dragging its feet on permitting generation, transmission, and storage of energy of all types.
“While I am all for renewable energy production – and trust me, electric cars are cool, they’ve got great torque, they accelerate fast and that’s cool – this administration is brushing over the need for reliable baseload generation.
“Not to mention the fact that consumers paid 14.3% more for electricity last year on average, than in 2021, more than double the overall 6.5% rise in prices, according to Consumer Price Index data released at the beginning of this year.
“ATRI’s analysis also found that tens of millions of tons of cobalt, graphite, lithium, and nickel will be needed to replace the existing U.S. fleet with battery electric vehicles, placing high demand on raw materials.
“For some materials, electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet would require almost 35 years of current global output.
“According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controls around 80% of the world’s production of rare earth elements, including elements like graphite and neodymium that are used in EVs.
“President Biden’s own Defense Department concluded in 2021 that overreliance on the CCP “creates risk of disruption and politicized trade practices”, yet his EPA is moving forward with a mandate that will increase this risk.
“The Biden Administration has also excluded liquid fuels, which support jobs and rural communities across our country.
“In Nebraska, we produce affordable, reliable, and cleaner-burning ethanol and biodiesel.
“Renewable fuels are a here-and-now technology proven to work in heavy-duty vehicles.
“Right here in D.C., for example, the garbage and recycling trucks operate on pure biodiesel, a fuel produced from waste fats and oils.
“And just last month, a poll showed that 70 percent of poll respondents support increasing the availability of E15 to help lower fuel prices and support energy independence. That same poll showed that respondents strongly oppose government mandates related to their vehicle purchase options.
“A bipartisan coalition of farm-state Senators has long worked to promote renewable fuels, a tried-and-true technology for which the infrastructure already exists today, lowers carbon footprints, and saves consumers money at the pump, all while supporting our communities in rural America.
“There are many steps we can take to support this here-and-now solution. We must adopt a fair and consistent emissions model to truly compare these fuel sources apples to apples.
“In short, emissions reduction technology should be consumer-driven, economically viable, and operate on a level playing field for all technologies. I am exploring options to push back on this administration’s overreach. I look forward to discussing these issues with our panel of witnesses.”
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