Mullin, Colleagues: EPA’s Proposed Emission Standards Rule Increases Costs for Americans

Today, U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) joined his colleagues in sending a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan detailing how the agency’s recent proposed federal emission standards will limit choices and increase costs for Americans when buying vehicles. The letter also notes that the rules would make the U.S. more dependent on China for critical minerals and asks the administrator to respond to these concerns.

Co-signing the letter are Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Pete Ricketts (R-NE).

Full text of the letter can be found here and below. 

June 14, 2023

Dear Administrator Regan: 

We write regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent proposed rule on federal emission standards.

On April 12th, 2023, the EPA announced a new proposed rule on federal emissions standards for light-duty vehicles, the “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty Vehicles.” The proposed rule would require nearly two-thirds of new passenger vehicles sold in the United States to be completely electric by 2033, limiting choices and increasing costs for Americans.

At the end of 2022, the average price of an electric vehicle was $61,488 and this rule would worsen than exorbitant price tag by putting further pressure on overextended energy supply chains.

Like many other supposedly pro-environment proposals, this rule would also enrich the People’s Republic of China at the expense of Americans. It takes a decade to receive proper permitting to mine the minerals needed for the vehicles mandated by this rule, so American automakers would be forced to rely more on China, which processes 85 percent of the world’s rare earth minerals. American companies, like Ford, are already dependent on Chinese battery technology, and this rule would exacerbate the problem. 

Please answer the following questions as soon as possible, but in any case, no later than June 30, 2023.

  1. What is EPA’s plan to ensure that this rule does not make our critical mineral supply chain more dependent on Chinese producers?
  1. What is EPA’s plan with the Department of Energy to ensure our electric grid is stable and secure despite increased demand on the grid as a result of this rule?
  1. How much would this proposed rule increase costs on the average customer? What is the EPA’s plan to decrease overall cost of electric vehicles?