McMorris Rodgers: EPA is Ceding America’s Vehicle Leadership to China

Jun 22, 2023
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Press

Washington, D.C. — Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) delivered opening remarks at today’s Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee hearing with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials and stakeholders to discuss how we can increase—not limit—people’s choices and access to reliable, affordable transportation fuels and vehicles.

The hearing follows the EPA’s recent regulatory efforts to advance the Biden administration’s radical agenda that is limiting the kind of cars Americans can drive and the fuels they can use, risking further disruption of fuel markets, and increasing transportation costs.

Excerpts and highlights from her remarks below:

AMERICA HAS LED THE WORLD IN TRANSPORTATION

“Since the invention of the Ford Model T, America has led the world in car manufacturing and technology.

“The combustion engine has allowed people around the world to increase their mobility and raise their standard of living.

“For more than half a century, affordable transportation has helped drive America’s economic success.

“The question we should be asking today is whether we want America to be leading the auto sector for the next 100 years.

“Nearly 20 years ago, China made the decision to fully electrify.

“Today, by some estimates, they’re building an average of two coal fired plants per day in order to meet their needs to fully electrify.”

THE DANGERS OF FOLLOWING CHINA’S LEAD

“I continue to hear from some of my colleagues, ‘well we just need to put more money into this system.’

“That is money that is going to China. China dominates the supply chains. It’s China’s technology that is being used in electric vehicles and batteries.

“Those supply chains include nickel from Russia, cobalt from the Congo, and lithium from China.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it has been the United States of America that has been leading in bringing down carbon emissions. We have led the world.

“It has been American technology and innovation that has resulted in us leading the world in bringing down carbon emissions—it’s not China. China continues to increase their carbon emissions. China’s carbon emissions are going to continue to increase.”

ENSURING AFFORDABLE TRANSPORTATION FOR AMERICANS

“So today, we are discussing a rule, a proposed rule by the EPA that would have us follow China’s lead.

“It is just one of 151 proposed rules by EPA.

“151 rules right now at OMB by EPA.

“This is a rule that would basically, by 2032, take away the choice from Americans. 95% of the cars that Americans drive today would no longer be made available.

“If the United States is going to make this decision to fully electrify its transportation fleet, it should be the elected representatives of the people that are making that decision.

“That is a decision that belongs in this committee, the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“When it comes to protecting consumers’ affordable transportation choices and preferences, that should be a debate in Congress.

“The cars we drive, how we fuel them, we need to make sure that it’s practical, affordable.

“Top-down government mandates and subsidies will not reduce emissions or lower costs.

“Americans deserve to have the choice to decide what mode of transportation suits them best.”

EPA WANTS TO DECIDE WHAT CARS PEOPLE DRIVE

“So, the proposed rule suggests that two-thirds of the cars, nearly 70% of the cars by 2032 must be 100% battery electric, not hybrids, not plug-in hybrids, not hydrogen, not any other technology. 100% battery electric.

“That’s China’s goal, that’s China’s agenda. Since when is the United States of America following China’s lead.

“I have heard from many of my colleagues, I’ve heard from the Secretary of Energy that we need to be following China’s lead.

“I don’t agree. I don’t agree for a moment. And this proposed rule is an affront to representative government. It’s an affront to the elected representatives of the people and it’s an affront actually to every American.

“Instead of forcing Americans to spend more money on vehicles that they don’t want to buy—on vehicles that only advance a political agenda—let’s get back to the work of making sure that people have access to affordable, reliable, and functional means of transportation.

“Let’s get focused on improving mobility, mobility choices. Let’s get focused on American technology and innovation.

“Protecting people’s way of life and ability to provide for their families should be a bipartisan priority.

“You know, America has long celebrated that we trust people to make the best decisions for themselves, not a government that decides for them.

“And today, we have the EPA wanting to decide for us, not even the elected representatives of the people.”

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