Hand pumping gas in car
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Will Biden effectively ban gas-powered cars?

Editors at Issues and Insights warn readers to beware new regulations from the Biden administration that could have drastic impacts on their driving habits.

In the next couple of months, the Environmental Protection Agency will issue new fuel economy standards that could be impossible for carmakers to meet – without going electric. That, at least, is what President Joe Biden’s EPA Administrator Michael Regan is indicating.

In an interview with Bloomberg last week, Regan talked about imposing rules that meet “the urgency of the climate crisis,” and “did not rule out future emissions requirements that create a de facto ban on new conventional, gasoline-powered automobiles, like an explicit phase-out ordered by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.”

Regan could, for example, require automakers to sell cars that get an average of 70 mpg – something that only electric cars could meet. The most fuel-efficient hybrid on the market tops out at 59 mpg. The most efficient gas-powered car – the tiny Mitsubishi Mirage – gets 39 mpg.

The prospect of a Biden ban on gas-powered vehicles shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. As we noted last year, Biden promised voters he would do just this – impose regulations on automakers that they could only meet by selling electric cars.

As a matter of fact, he promised that on his first day in office, he’d develop “rigorous new fuel economy standards aimed at ensuring 100% of new sales for light- and medium-duty vehicles will be zero emissions.”

Let’s leave aside the fact that there is no “climate crisis” that requires urgent responses. The term “climate crisis” is an invention of environmentalists to create a sense of panic. The science says that, at worst, there will be a gradual warming over the next 100 years – giving everyone plenty of time to make whatever adjustments are necessary.

Let’s leave aside, too, the fact that the environmental benefits of electric cars are wildly exaggerated.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...