Biden Admin Backtracks on Electric Vehicle Push

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February 20, 2024

The Biden administration is scaling back its push to shift Americans from gas-powered to electric vehicles, a move aimed at appeasing automakers and labor unions ahead of the presidential election this fall, according to the New York Times.

The Environmental Protection Agency last spring introduced stringent limits on tailpipe emissions, effectively requiring at least 67 percent of new cars and light-duty trucks to be all-electric by 2032. President Joe Biden is now set to give car manufacturers more time to meet the regulations, with a rapid increase in emissions standards not required until after 2030, sources told the outlet. 

Biden’s concession came after backlash from unions and the auto industry to the EPA proposal. Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers union, said last year after the proposal's release that the union would withhold an endorsement of Biden’s reelection bid due to "concerns with the electric vehicle transition." The UAW urged the Biden administration to "[increase] stringency more gradually" instead. Fain announced the union's endorsement of Biden late last month, just weeks after the EPA reportedly submitted to the White House a revised emissions rule featuring an extended timeline.

Former president Donald Trump last month slammed Fain for endorsing Biden, accusing the labor leader of cowing to the administration's electric vehicle agenda.

"[Shawn Fain] bought into Biden’s ‘vision’ of all Electric Vehicles," Trump said, "which require far fewer workers to make each car but, more important, are not wanted in large numbers by the consumer, and will ALL be made in China."