September 19, 2023

GOP House Takes on California EV Mandate

The Golden State’s push for 100% electric vehicle sales by 2035 is meeting resistance not only from consumers but also autoworkers and federal legislators.

Energy Secretary Jenny Granholm recently experienced some humorous trouble on her road trip promoting the sale of electric vehicles. It may have been good for a laugh, but in a dozen years the joke will be on us because of an EPA waiver California received decades ago and how far the state’s Democrats have run with it.

Including the not-so-Golden State itself, states that have adopted California’s rules mandating 100% EV sales by 2035 comprise about 40% of the American automobile market, which itself has moved on from the econobox cars of the 1980s that Detroit put out in part to comply with the fleet-wide mileage standards then in place. Today, however, the road is filled with trucks and SUVs because automakers have employed some flexibility within the regulations. While automakers now have EVs available in those pickup and SUV body styles, the sales of such vehicles are dwarfed by those of vehicles with standard gasoline-powered engines. EVs have been stacking up on dealer lots because few people want or can afford them, despite government incentives.

This situation led Florida Governor (and 2024 presidential candidate) Ron DeSantis to succinctly sum up the issue: “They announced that in a few years ‘all new sales in California must be electric.’ Then two days later they say, ‘all electric vehicles owners: don’t plug in your car because we have problems with the power grid.’ Are you kidding me?!”

And that’s the least of the problems — just ask a truck driver about California’s “totally impractical” idea of mandating electric tractor-trailers. “They might as well be saying, ‘Hey, build a spaceship and go to Mars,’” said one.

Ryan Mills at National Review puts it this way: “The [California] regulations are targeted at larger fleets — those with 50 or more trucks or that have $50 million or more in gross annual revenues — as well as at any firms or independent truckers who do drayage work in the state’s major seaports and rail yards. Starting January 1, those businesses will only be allowed to add zero-emission trucks to their fleets. Diesel trucks registered with the state by December 31 can be grandfathered in for a while.” How long is “a while”? Probably long enough for the smaller operators to wind up their affairs and move to DeSantis’s Florida, as one operator vows to do.

With a great portion of the public now on the hook to buy EVs in the years ahead — just 12 short years away — the Republican-controlled House has swung into action by passing what’s known as the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act. The brilliantly named bill “would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing a new waiver to enable California’s standards to take effect,” The Daily Signal notes. “It also bars the EPA from certifying California as compliant with an existing waiver.” Though it was passed by Republicans, eight Democrats in vulnerable districts also went along, meaning it was a bipartisan bill.

That bill isn’t likely to survive in the Democrat-controlled Senate, though, and has already garnered a statement of disapproval from the “Robert L. Peters” administration should it somehow pass. But the effort to restore sanity to our automotive market is a two-pronged one, as three separate lawsuits are also progressing in federal court.

There’s a lot at stake. “As we know,” says The Heritage Foundation’s Steve Bradbury, “historically, gas-powered cars have been the freedom machine for Americans. There’s some feeling of freedom and independence in having a tank full of gas in your car in the garage. Well, that would all go away in a world where we’re talking about 100% electric. And, of course, a lot of people are not going to be able to afford those electric vehicles and are not going to want to buy them, so they’re going to be stuck driving older and older used vehicles. And that is not safe.”

All this is going on against the backdrop of the UAW strike in progress. Rather than the old method of selecting one automaker as a work stoppage target to set up a basic deal framework for the other two, in this case the UAW is targeting selected plants for each of the Big Three automakers (Ford, GM, and Stellantis, formerly Chrysler.)

EVs play a big role in that strike. Because EVs have fewer moving parts, they take fewer workers to build, and that flies in the face of Big Labor’s idea about job security — not to mention the 32-hour work week, restoration of defined-benefit pension plans, and the 46% pay raise the UAW is demanding at a time when most workers can’t even keep up with inflation.

Maybe the UAW should use its ill-gotten gains for maintaining our freedom of movement. We doubt their rank-and-file are as excited about EVs as our betters in the government seem to be, given that those EVs will bring about the demise of many of the automaking jobs they now hold. Hey, it’s tough to strike if you’re in the union of the unemployed.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.