(TotalConservative.com) – A bill opposing environmental regulations in the state of California to mandate electric vehicle purchases has passed the House floor after eight Democrats diverged from the rest of their party to vote with House Republicans to get it through.
The bipartisan effort spearheaded by the GOP was passed with a 222-190 vote. Two-hundred and fourteen Republicans supported the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act alongside eight House Democrats who broke ranks with their party mates to pass the bill.
A group of GOP lawmakers led by Pensyvannia Rep. John Joyce first introduced the legislation in March and quickly gathered supporters among the energy industry who believe the economy would be severely impacted by such restrictions which they argue also infringe on the free choice of consumers.
Joyce commented on the bill’s passing, which stopped “California’s ban on gas-powered cars,” and called it a “victory” for consumers and for “personal freedom.”
The bill doesn’t name California directly, but it means the state would only be able to enforce stricter rules than the federal government after obtaining the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under the Clean Air Act, California regained its ability to enforce carbon emissions standards and mandated the sale of electric vehicles. The act also gave other states the same option to follow suit.
The new bill will prevent the EPA from approving any state that bans or restricts gas vehicles. It was prompted by a decision by California’s air-quality board to ban the sale of vehicles using combustion engines by the year 2035. The new bill will block any such bans from taking effect.
California’s ability to enforce emission standards and a EV sales mandate was reinstated under the Clean Air Act in March 2022, granting other states the option to adopt California’s regulations. Joyce said regulators in California shouldn’t be able “to determine what vehicles” families can purchase in other states.
Joyce adamantly stands by the consumer’s choice. He said anyone who wants an electric vehicle “should have the option” to purchase one, but this doesn’t mean others should be required to.
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