Manchin joins in fight against Biden administration's move to electric vehicle

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Oct. 21—U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has joined in the fight against the Biden administration's electric vehicle mandates.

The West Virginia Democrat announced Friday that he has joined 28 of other senators — all Republicans — in introducing the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales (CARS) Act to counter what Manchin described as the administration's "radical environmental agenda and executive overreach" that seeks to limit consumer vehicle choices.

"We cannot allow the EPA to continue to impose oppressive and careless regulations that increase our dependence on foreign adversaries like China and make everyday necessities more expensive for Americans and their families," Manchin said in a prepared statement. "I waited in line for gas in the 70s because America was too reliant on foreign oil, and I refuse to risk one day waiting in line for a Chinese battery. This bipartisan legislation would rescind this federal overreach and protect access to traditional, affordable vehicles."

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., also is backing the CARS Act.

Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the EPA issued a draft rule earlier this year titled "Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Year 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles." He said that proposed rule sets stringent emissions standards for criteria pollutants and greenhouse gasses for certain vehicles.

Pointing to data from the Kelley Blue Book, Manchin said the current average price of an electric vehicle is $17,000 more than the average price of a gas-powered vehicle. He argued Friday that the administration's continued push to mandate electric vehicles will hurt everyday Americans and cost auto workers their jobs while simultaneously helping China, which currently dominates the EV supply chain.

If passed by the full U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives, the CARS Act would:

—Prohibit the EPA from finalizing, implementing or enforcing its proposed emissions rule;

—Prohibit the use of authority under the Clean Air Act to issue regulations that mandate the use of any specific technology or that limit the availability of new motor vehicles based on that vehicle's engine type. This includes any regulation prescribed on or after January 1, 2021;

—Require the EPA to update any regulations since January 1, 2021, that result in the limited availability of new vehicles based on that vehicle's engine within two years

In addtion to Manchin and Capito, senators signing on to the legislation included U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-AL), U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.), U.S. Senator Ted Budd (R-N.C.), U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alab.), U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MI), U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MI), U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AL), U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

The bill also is supported by the American Petroleum Institute, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, National Propane Gas Association, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, SIGMA: America's Leading Fuel Marketers, Idaho Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, Energy Marketers of America, American Exploration and Production Council, American Energy Alliance, Western Energy Alliance, National Taxpayers Union, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Idaho Farm Bureau, American Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association, National Automobile Dealers Association, Idaho Automobile Dealers Association, Texas Automobile Dealers Association, Montana Automobile Dealers Association, Specialty Equipment Market Association, Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity.

A companion bill hasn't yet been introduced in the House because legislation can't be introduced or voted on in that chamber until lawmakers can agree upon a House speaker.

— Contact Charles Owens at

— Contact Charles Owens at Follow him @BDTOwens