GOP senators urge Biden’s NHTSA nominee, if confirmed, to put brakes on admin’s drive for EV future

Thirteen GOP senators are asking Biden’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nominee to not to align with new Environmental Protection Agency rules effectively mandating electric vehicles in the near future.

The senators – including Ohio’s J.D. Vance, and Texas’ Ted Cruz – made the request in a letter Monday to nominee Ann Carlson.

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As the NHTSA prepares a finalized proposal for fuel-economy standards, the senators expressed concern that under Carlson’s direction, the agency will “follow the EPA’s lead” by pushing for “similarly radical vehicle fuel economy standards that run contrary to the law.”

They also argue such a change would empty Americans’ wallets and “undermine our national and energy security all the while benefitting China.”

The lawmakers “strongly” urged Carlson to reject the EPA’s “economically destructive” plans and the agency’s attempt to bolster Biden’s green agenda by effectively mandating electric cars and imposing strict fuel emissions standards that disproportionately impact low-income Americans. 

Biden announced Carlson as his nominee in February.

Carlson was initially tapped in 2021 as NHTSA’s chief counsel. That year, email exchanges with Carlson revealed her boasting that Biden’s hiring her was proof of his commitment to a “whole of government” approach to addressing climate change. 

The senators wrote regarding the comment: “Your work at NHTSA and past career suggest NHTSA intends to mimic the EPA’s draconian EV mandate.

They said that a chief counsel Carlson had a responsibility to ensure that NHTSA’s proposed regulations complied with the law. But instead, they said, Carlson “took actions” in accordance with her “long career as an environmentalist” including when she implied to her colleagues that Biden recruited her “explicitly to advance” his climate goals. 

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