House Minority Leader Response to Governor Stepping On The Gas for Cleaner Rhode Island Vehicles by 2035
State House, Providence – House Minority Leader Michael Chippendale offers the following statement regarding the Governor’s plan to adopt regulations for manufacturers selling cars to Rhode Island consumers:
The House Republican Caucus is on the record as being vehemently opposed to the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4)—a group of unelected bureaucrats-- being allowed to create policies that will financially cripple the citizens of Rhode Island. During this period of record inflation, outdated and failing electrical grid infrastructure, and record-high electricity rates, Rhode Island citizens are already suffering enough under these misguided policies. When combined with the poor road conditions, inadequate public transportation, homelessness, housing shortages and an ever-growing fixed income population - today’s announcement by the Governor to embrace these unrealistic consumer vehicle regulations demonstrates a concerning disconnect between the Governor and the people he governs.
As recently as 2021, Governor McKee vetoed an unfriendly consumer renewable energy bill, H 6066, because the bill would have shifted significant electric grid upgrades to ratepayers. Further, the Governor in 2021 stated “Before the State considers shifting significant additional transmission costs to ratepayers…we need to understand how these additional costs fit within the suite of investments necessary to achieve cost-effective, comprehensive, economy-wide decarbonization.” The Governor does not seem to be using the same prudent consumer protection standard from his 2021 veto for the ban on new gas vehicles by 2035.
According to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, in 2022 only 5.2% of vehicle sales were for electric vehicles. Nationally, the average price for electric vehicles has climbed from $49,785 in June 2021 to $61,448 in Dec. 2022. In contrast, the average subcompact car sold for $25,094 in Dec. 2022. Since 2021, electric vehicles prices have risen on average $5,000 per year.
A recent EPA study noted that total U.S. emissions are 7 percent lower since 1990. Specifically, the primary greenhouse gases emitted by human activities, has decreased by 8 percent. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Rhode Island’s total current portion of U.S. greenhouse emissions were negligible at 0.2% for carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.
The new regulations by the McKee Administration do not consider the following concerns:
It also should be noted that it remains unclear if these new “California” emission standards would survive a constitutional challenge under the Commerce Clause, and if the federal government will continue to grant California’s waiver from the federal emission standards required under the Clean Air Act.
Rhode Islanders can no longer shoulder the inequitable and costly policies of the McKee and Biden Administrations. Rhode Islanders will not relinquish to unrealistic deadlines, nor have their consumer freedoms abolished to the whims of a steering committee that is out of touch with their day to day struggles.
The 2023 Rhode Island House of Representatives Minority Caucus (Republican) is comprised of the following elected members representing constituents who live in the following districts throughout the Ocean State: Minority Leader, Michael Chippendale, District 40 (Foster, Glocester, Coventry); Minority Whip David Place, District 47 (Burrillville, Glocester); Representative George Nardone, District 28 (Coventry); Representative Brian Newberry, District 48 (North Smithfield, Burrillville); Representative Robert Quattrocchi, District 41 (Scituate, Cranston); Representative Sherry Roberts, District 29 (Coventry, West Greenwich) Representative Brian Rea, District 53 (Glocester, Smithfield). For more information on the House Minority Caucus, please visit www.rihousegop.org
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