Congressional Republicans Take Aim at Biden’s Electric Truck Rule

News & Politics

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The Biden administration hasn’t hesitated to rule by fiat, especially when it comes to environmental regulations. Separation of powers? Who cares? Why worry about constitutional processes when you can ramrod your agenda through the bureaucracy?

Congressional Republicans are taking on the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest rule that seeks to govern greenhouse gas emissions for heavy-duty trucks. The rule is set to take effect on June 21.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho) introduced a resolution in their respective chambers on Wednesday that would invoke the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to allow Congress to vote to nullify the rule.

“If a CRA joint resolution of disapproval passes both houses of Congress and is signed by the president — or if Congress overrides a presidential veto — the rule cannot go into effect,” explains John Gallagher at Freightwaves. “If it has already taken effect, it goes out of effect immediately when the resolution is enacted and ‘shall be treated as though such rule had never taken effect,’ according to the Congressional Research Service.”

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In a press release, Fulcher said:

Biden’s latest effort to push electric vehicles is completely out of line and will eliminate consumer choice, grow our reliance on foreign adversaries, directly impact transportation for Idahoans, and have lasting impacts on the U.S. supply chain… These vehicles consume roughly seven times as much electricity on a single charge as a typical home does in a day and charging centers can require as much power from the electrical grid as a small city. Infrastructure aside, electric trucks cost roughly twice as much as diesel trucks, and these vehicles are not able to haul nearly as much.

“President Biden’s EV mandate is delusional,” Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.) agreed. “This rule will make it harder for low-income families to buy a car or rural families to get to their jobs. I promised Nebraskans I’d use every tool I have to fight this. Our bipartisan legislation will keep costs down, defend consumer choice, and protect us against becoming more dependent on the CCP.”

As my friend and colleague Stephen Green reported last month:

Under Biden’s rules, we’ll end up with long-haul trucks that can go maybe 200 miles between recharges, increased traffic congestion, and everything from apples to iPhones will take longer and cost more to move to store shelves — while doing nothing to reduce particulate emissions. 

The Wall Street Journal said that Biden’s new rules are his “most costly and fanciful to date,” and yet they’re as real as a heart attack — and just as deadly to the U.S. economy.

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“The Environmental Protection Agency’s new emissions regulations are unnecessary, burdensome, and exactly the wrong policy that we’ve come to expect from the Biden administration,” Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) told PJ Media. (Full disclosure: Rep. Collins is my congressman, and I couldn’t be more proud! —CQ)

Collins, who owns a trucking company, has been sounding the alarm for weeks about how the mandate is another terrible big-government scheme:

Trucking industry insiders agree with Fulcher and Sullivan. Ed Gilroy, chief advocacy and public affairs officer at the American Trucking Association, told Freightwaves that the GOP resolution “highlights the need for EPA to include the operational realities of trucking in their final regulation.”

Other experts believe that the rule could be particularly devastating for small trucking firms.

“This could have devastating effects on the reliability of America’s supply chain and ultimately on the cost and availability of consumer goods,” said Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “Local mom and pop trucking businesses would be suffocated by the sheer cost and operational challenges of effectively mandating EV trucks.”

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The CRA is a longshot, having only been successful 20 times since 1996, and Republicans can also try legal action if the CRA doesn’t pan out. But Sullivan believes that he can get some Democrats on board in the Senate.

“[Sen. Joe] Manchin [D-W.Va.] is fully supportive, and I think it’s likely we’ll get other Democrats to support this because they’re hearing from their constituents,” Sullivan said at a press conference. “Then we’ll see if Joe Biden vetoes what the vast majority of the members of the House and Senate want.”

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