150 Republicans say Biden should rescind rule expected to make more trucks electric

More than 150 Republican lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to rescind a rule that’s expected to make more of the nation’s truck fleet electric.

In a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the House and Senate Republicans wrote that the rule will “disrupt the heavy-duty truck industry by forcing the broad adoption of heavy-duty zero emission vehicles on an extremely aggressive timeline.”

They argued that this would be bad for businesses and consumers and worsen inflation.

“This rule will only further increase costs for American families, businesses, and rural communities while fueling more inflation,” they wrote.

The rule in question, issued by the EPA in April, would be expected to make new sales of the nation’s heaviest trucks more than 20 percent electric around 2040.

The truck rules do not explicitly mandate a shift toward electric vehicles (EVs). Instead, they set average pollution limits for truckmakers, which are expected to push them toward electric and other lower-emitting technologies such as hybrids.

It’s not totally clear how they will comply. However, one scenario modeled by the EPA projects that in the year 2032, new sales of lighter heavy-duty trucks could be 60 percent electric, medium heavy-duty trucks could be 40 percent electric and heavy heavy-duty trucks could be 30 percent electric.

A different scenario modeled by the agency relies on hybrids and trucks powered by natural gas and hydrogen to meet the standards.

Nevertheless, the Republicans described the rule in their letter as a “de facto mandate.”

An EPA spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of the letter, saying in an email that the agency “will review the letter and respond through the appropriate channels.”

Whether to push the nation’s fleet of trucks and cars alike toward electrification has been a major point of division between Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats, who largely support the shift toward more EVs, argue that doing so would mitigate climate change and improve public health by reducing air pollution.

Republican opponents have argued that consumers and automakers, not the government, should drive the vehicle market.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.