The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill (222-190) aimed at California’s plan to phase out gas-powered vehicles. The bill would prohibit states from restricting the sale of gas-powered cars and rescind any federal approvals given to states to do so that were issued since the start of 2022.
While voting mostly followed party lines, eight Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the measure. The Reps. are: Yadira Caraveo from New Mexico, Jim Costa from California, Henry Cuellar from Texas, Donald Davis from North Carolina, Jared Golden from Maine, Brian Higgins from New York, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez from Washington, and Gabe Vasquez from New Mexico.
However, the bill does not explicitly mention California.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must grant the state authorization to enact stricter clean automobile regulations than those set forth by the federal government under the Clean Air Act. Last year, the EPA reinstated a waiver that allowed California’s rule targeted at reducing vehicular emissions to go into force. Since then, the state has also sought to encourage EV sales by phasing out completely new sales of gasoline-powered vehicles.
The Republican-led legislation passed the House, but it’s not anticipated to move further or be passed into law. The Democratic-led Senate will oppose it, and the White House recently issued a statement stating why.
Nevertheless, the bill marks another place at which Republicans can criticize the Biden administration, as energy policy, particularly concerning home items, is an area they have honed in on.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington), chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said, “EPA and California are trying to implement restrictive government mandates, but that’s not how we’re going to lead the next 100 years.”