Today, U.S. Senators Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Pete Ricketts (R-NE) will introduce the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act to limit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing Clean Air Act (CAA) waivers for state policies seeking to ban or otherwise limit the sale of internal combustion engines. This legislation would preserve consumer choice and maintain competition in the automotive markets by ensuring Americans have access to reliable and affordable vehicles.
In August 2022, the California Air Resources Board adopted its Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) regulation that would require all light-duty vehicle sales to qualify as “zero emission” by 2035, but cannot enforce it unless EPA approves a waiver for California to do so. In March 2023, California was granted two EPA waivers to implement more stringent medium and heavy-duty vehicle emission standards than what is federally mandated. This bill follows California’s anticipated application to EPA for another waiver to implement its ACCII regulation to ban the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035. Representative John Joyce (PA-13) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.
U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and John Hoeven (R-ND) joined Mullin, Marshall, and Ricketts in cosponsoring this legislation.
“California’s waivers are not about clean energy, they are about control,” said Sen. Mullin. “Democrats want to control every aspect of Americans’ lives – including what car they drive. If it were about clean energy, banning tailpipe emissions in favor of electric vehicles that strain an unstable grid is not the solution. This bill will ensure Americans can choose what vehicle is best for themselves and their families and allow that choice to dictate the market. Capitalism has already proven that internal combustion engine vehicles represent the overwhelming majority of vehicle purchases in America. Not to mention, America is less secure when we are dependent on foreign adversaries for critical mineral supply. I will not sit back and allow the federal government to make purchasing choices for consumers in Oklahoma, especially when our national security is at stake.”
“Gavin Newsom’s hand-picked California bureaucrats have no business restricting the choices of Nebraska consumers,” said Sen. Ricketts. “California’s waiver restricts freedom, shrugs off the cost of electric vehicles while families are struggling, ignores supply chain and infrastructure challenges, and disregards American biofuels. I am proud to join this effort to bring some sanity to these detached-from-reality policies.”
“If Joe Biden thinks he can send his climate demagogues to Kansas and tell us which cars we can drive, he’s in for a rude awakening,” said Sen. Marshall. “Our legislation is all about protecting consumer choice and, ultimately, free market competition that drives down costs. A failing state like California, whose economy is in the gutter, has crime-filled cities, and people fleeing in record numbers, should not be advising policies for anyone, especially Kansans- it’s just that simple.”
“California’s reckless waiver request would have far-reaching consequences for consumers across the United States. Congress must act now to pass the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act and avoid forcing consumers to purchase electric vehicles that fail to meet their needs,” said Rep. Joyce. “Thank you to Senator Mullin for leading this important legislation in the Senate.”
The Preserving Choice in Vehicles Act is endorsed by the following stakeholders: American Trucking Association (ATA), American Farm Bureau (AFB), National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC), Heritage Action, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), American Motorcyclist Association, Tire Industry Association, American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC), American Petroleum Institute (API), Oklahoma Farm Bureau (OFB), Magellan, Illinois Corn, Phillips 66, Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA), HF Sinclair, Oklahoma Pork Council, CVR Energy, ASAP Energy, The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma, National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).
“ATA believes we must set national, achievable, and realistic targets and timelines along the way to our shared goal of zero emissions. Those efforts must be made through a lens of technology neutrality, allowing innovation to provide a wide range of solutions that meet the diverse needs of the trucking industry. To that end, we thank Senator Mullin for calling attention to the unachievable timelines being proposed by California. Setting a patchwork of regulations will disrupt the nation’s supply chain and force motor carriers to purchase costly, early stage equipment and operate it in an environment with insufficient infrastructure support. Moving forward, ATA will continue working with Senator Mullin, other champions in Congress, coalition partners in industry, and federal regulators to set achievable emissions goals for the trucking industry.” – Bill Sullivan, Executive Vice President of Advocacy for the American Trucking Association.
“The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma applauds U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin for introducing this bill. Once again, the elites in California and their allies in the Biden administration are trying to force their preferences on working families nationwide without any understanding of the very real negative consequences their actions will have in the heartland of America and nationwide.” – Brook A. Simmons, President of The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma.
“California should not be setting policy for America – that is the responsibility of Congress. It’s no surprise we’re seeing small-business truckers leaving the state in droves for opportunities elsewhere. Vehicle reliability and affordability are top priorities for OOIDA members. We have yet to see proof that electric commercial motor vehicles are a realistic option for trucking businesses, especially small-business truckers, considering the price tag and lack of charging infrastructure. OOIDA and our 150,000 members thank Senator Mullin for championing this commonsense legislation to protect small-business truckers across America from California’s creeping overreach. – Todd Spencer, President of OOIDA.
“There are over 200,000 propane vehicles on American roads today, which provide clean, affordable, and reliable solutions to power school buses, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, and fleets. The Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act is an essential piece of legislation that ensures Americans maintain access to propane vehicles, which are a practical low-carbon solution in the transportation sector nationwide. The National Propane Gas Association and its more than 2500 members are proud to support this commonsense legislation and applaud Senator Mullen’s actions to protect consumer choice.” – Steve Kaminski, President and CEO of The National Propane Gas Association.
“Oklahoma Farm Bureau applauds Sen. Markwayne Mullin for his effort to protect the use of gasoline- and diesel-powered motor vehicles through the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act. This measure will not only ensure American agriculture producers will continue to have access to affordable, reliable transportation methods but will also protect our nation’s food supply from overburdensome transportation costs that could eventually be felt by the consumer at the grocery store.” – Rodd Moesel, President of Oklahoma Farm Bureau.
“California and the EPA are making huge assumptions about what kinds of vehicles trucking wants and needs. Their unrealistic political directives could leave America without reliable, cost-efficient commercial vehicles. NASTC proudly supports the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act to ensure our trucking industry doesn’t suffer avoidable disruption.” – David Owen, President of The National Association of Small Trucking Companies.
“We welcome Sen. Mullin’s efforts to safeguard Americans’ freedoms from intrusive government policies that jeopardize access to affordable and reliable vehicle options. Congress should work expeditiously to pass the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act to ensure all Americans have the freedom to purchase a vehicle that fits both their needs and their budget.” – Amanda Eversole, API Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer.
“In the 1970s, Congress established uniform fuel efficiency standards for the auto industry and has reinforced those standards by prohibiting states from imposing different requirements for new vehicles covered by these federal rules. The Biden administration, California and other blue states are now collaborating to circumvent the intent of Congress by abusing the Clean Air Act to grant waivers to these states. These waivers will mandate a sales ban on combustion engine vehicles by 2035, instead favoring “zero-emission vehicles” and removing consumers’ ability to choose the right vehicle for them. Fortunately, Senator Mullin has introduced legislation that would prevent the EPA from issuing a waiver to allow for this sales ban to take effect. Senators who favor freedom and believe in standing up for the American consumer should join Senator Mullin in blocking the Biden administration’s radical automotive policy.” – Ryan Walker, Vice President of Government Relations, Heritage Action.
“Both California’s unlawful attempt to ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars and trucks and EPA’s own proposal to outlaw the vast majority of these vehicles will leave consumers with fewer affordable vehicle options to meet their needs; both will increase costs for taxpayers and electricity users; and both will sacrifice U.S. energy security—which is built on American-made and American-grown liquid fuels—in a gift to China. AFPM appreciates the leadership of Senators Mullin, Ricketts, and Marshall in introducing legislation to protect consumers and U.S. energy security by prohibiting EPA from issuing California a Clean Air Act waiver which the state needs if it’s going to move forward with a ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel vehicles. Congress never intended to make California a superstate. California does not have authority to ban traditional cars and trucks or to impose its bans on 40% of the country. We hope this legislation and its companion bill in the House receive swift consideration and passage.” – Chet Thompson, President and CEO, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.
“SEMA believes that vehicle owners should not be directed toward a specific technology, but rather be allowed to choose the type of vehicle that best serves them. The automotive aftermarket has a forward-looking vision that embraces new technology to make vehicles cleaner and more efficient, which includes hydrogen, electric, alternative fuels, and continuing to improve the internal-combustion engine. SEMA thanks Sen. Mullin for introducing this important bill.” – Mike Spagnola, President and CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).
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