Ricketts pushes back against EPA proposal regarding electric vehicles

Sen. Pete Ricketts is pushing back on the Biden Administration's promotion of electronic vehicles.
Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 5:25 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts is pushing back against the Biden Administration’s plan to transition the auto industry to electric vehicles.

Ricketts spoke at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, making his case against a plan proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which calls for two-thirds of new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. to be all-electric by 2032.

“The Biden Administration has one answer to be able to reduce our impact on the environment, and that’s electric vehicles,” he said.

The Biden Administration disputes the claim and points to efforts to speed up carbon capture and removal technology, roll out clean energy technology faster, end deforestation, and tackle non-Co2 climate pollutants.

However, Ricketts says switching to electrification in Nebraska by 2032 is not realistic.

“For example, we have a 340-mile stretch of Highway 20 where there are no chargers. You would not want to drive that in a Nebraska winter.”

One of the flagship programs for EV charging is a $5 billion initiative to create a national network of high-speed chargers along major highways and interstates in every state.

The Biden Administration says the first two years of funding alone will electrify over 75,000 miles of the National Highway System.

Ricketts also promoted flex-fuel vehicles.

“The solution is to allow for innovation.”

Ricketts’ critics say the push for swift conversion to EVs is helping spur innovation.

Most major automakers are racing to the finish line. Several have set emissions goals that are more ambitious than the EPA’s. GM and Ford have decided to join Tesla’s charging system, which may push more automakers to follow suit. The Biden Administration announced plans to invest $2 billion to boost EV manufacturing in the U.S. and help plants that are struggling.

The Vice President of the American Transportation Research Institute says finding a solution isn’t easy.

“It’s very difficult to get towards broader electrification,” he said. “What I think we should be doing is looking at all the opportunities that are out there to reduce Co2.”