WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) – The Republican-led House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to block the Biden administration from moving forward with tighter vehicle emissions rules that would result in 67% of new vehicles being electric by 2032.
Republican Tim Walberg, the legislation sponsor, said, “While EVs could play a big role in the future of the auto industry, Washington should not discount other technologies like hydrogen, hybrids and internal combustion engines.”
The vote of 221 to 197, which included five Democrats along with 216 Republicans, led to a veto threat from the White House, saying it would “catastrophically impair” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to issue automotive regulations. ” will do it.
Former President Donald Trump, who is seeking a return to the White House, has vowed to reverse the Biden administration’s electric vehicle rules.
The EPA said in April that the proposed 2027 to 2032 standards would cut emissions by 56% compared to current 2026 requirements, or a 13% annual average pollution cut.
The agency estimates these rules would cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 9 billion tons by 2055 – equivalent to more than double total U.S. CO2 emissions last year. Final rules are expected early next year.
Automakers, auto dealers and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union have called on the Biden administration to finalize a less stringent proposal.
The UAW, which represents workers at General Motors (GM.N), Ford Motor (FN) and Chrysler parent Stellantis (STLAM.MI), said in July that the EPA proposal would “better reflect the feasibility of compliance “So that projected adoption (of zero emission vehicles) is set at a feasible level, stringency should be increased gradually, and over a longer period of time.”
A group representing major automakers called for a significant softening of the requirements, saying the EPA proposal was “neither reasonable nor achievable.”
Toyota Motor (7203.T) called the harshness requirements of the EPA proposal “excessive and outside historical norms.”
The auto trade group called the proposal a “real battery electric vehicle mandate.”
Rep. Frank Pallone, the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said Wednesday that Republicans were trying to “roll out legislation that takes away years of innovation in clean transportation to give polluters the upper hand.”
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Jamie Freed
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