The return of a divided government will have a significant impact on future trends in US public policy on key automotive issues.Ian Greig
The last two years have seen a flurry of legislative and regulatory activity in the United States, much of which has had a direct impact on the automotive sector. Next year promises to be another productive year for auto policy, but given the results of the recent US midterm elections, 2021 or he will look very different than 2022. Regarding the implementation of already enacted laws and the continued development of new regulations.
In last November’s midterm elections, Americans nationwide voted in 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and in the elections for state agencies. Republicans won enough House seats in the midterm elections that in the new Congress she won a narrow 222-212 majority (with one vacant seat). The Democrats were able to retain their small majority in the Senate and expand it slightly.
The intermediate results thus returned a divided government to Washington. Democrats will control the White House and the Senate for the next two years, while Republicans will control the House.
The coming year will see much less new legislative activity, and instead focus on implementing the laws already enacted and continuing to roll out new regulations.
The return of a divided government will have a significant impact on future trends in US public policy on key automotive issues. A Biden administration will be unable to launch new initiatives that require congressional action, and the risk of a legislative deadlock will rise two years after Congress has passed several key laws. Neither party has the voting power to control the legislative agenda or enact broad new spending or tax proposals.
As a result, much of the activity in Washington affecting the auto industry is based on the implementation of programs created through recently enacted legislation. Most notably his two major laws, the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and the broad climate, energy, and tax laws. law. These laws provide funding for programs that will be distributed over several years, but with Republican control of the House, the Biden administration will not be able to expand those programs. Republicans may try to block funding for some initiatives, but many rely on tax and spending mechanisms that are hard to change from year to year.
The first of these major laws, the US$1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Act, will be signed in November 2021, providing a five-year deal for roads, bridges, transport, rail, ports, and other infrastructure programs. Includes $550 billion in spending. The law contains a number of provisions aimed at accelerating the electrification of vehicles. US$7.5 billion for alternative fuel corridors to build a nationwide electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, and other programs for EV charging and vehicle-to-grid infrastructure. Establishing carbon reduction programs to reduce transport emissions through electrification of truck stops, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and other projects. His US$5.2 billion authorization to help state and local governments buy or lease zero-emission and low-emission transit buses.
The next year will see continued rollout of programs funded by this legislation. This will help fund the expansion of EV charging infrastructure across the United States. The Biden administration has committed to building 500,000 of her EV charging stations across the country by 2030, and the infrastructure bill includes funding to move that process forward. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg will build the EV charging network as a public-private project, with the government funding charging stations in rural areas, while the private sector invests in building charging stations in apartments and other urban areas. Said he was thinking.
the second major law, MeThe Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law by President Biden in August 2022. The IRA, which passed only with Democratic support, includes wind, solar, nuclear, and hydrogen, as well as energy storage and domestic production of key minerals and energy components.
The IRA includes an extension of the federal EV tax credit, the creation of a new clean vehicle tax credit for used and commercial vehicles, an extension of the tax credit for EV charging and other alternative fueling infrastructure, and subsidies related to vehicle electrification. It contains several clauses that For clean large vehicles and harbor vehicles. The law also amends the Clean Air Act to add new sections on clean vehicles, greenhouse gas emissions, and port pollution, clarifying the Environmental Protection Agency’s mandate to address climate change. .
The next year will see continued implementation of the IRA program, beginning with ongoing efforts to create rules related to the EV tax credit and other IRA tax provisions. This effort has highlighted a significant challenge in implementing IRAs. It addresses concerns from US trading partners that the IRA’s tax provisions, including new content requirements for EV tax credits, discriminate against foreign producers. Addressing these issues will be a major challenge for the Biden administration, which has already faced resistance from parts of Congress over delays in implementing IRA provisions related to EV component procurement.
Beyond implementing these two major laws, the Biden administration will continue to rely on executive orders and regulatory processes to implement climate and clean energy policies, including new proposals to reduce vehicle emissions. increase. The Environmental Protection Agency plans to finalize proposed rules to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from heavy-duty vehicles by the end of 2022, and will propose new heavy-duty greenhouse gas emissions rules in 2023. am. The EPA and the Department of Transportation are also planning proposals. New rules on emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants from cars and light trucks. The EPA has proposed new rules to implement biofuel blending requirements under the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard. This includes first-ever regulations related to the fuel used to generate electricity in EVs.
Part of the focus will shift to states as the Biden administration’s ability to launch new climate and clean energy programs in a divided Washington is limited.
All of these activities are part of the Biden administration’s drive to drive electrification of the vehicle, which the administration is aiming to not only address climate change but also boost domestic manufacturing, investment and employment. We see it as central to our efforts to
Part of the focus will shift to the states, given the Biden administration’s limited ability to launch new climate and clean energy programs in a divided Washington. California has long been a leader in implementing climate and environmental programs and uses its special status to: Clean Air Act Enforce stricter climate and environmental regulations that other states can adopt. It implements policies to help California and other states address climate change and promote clean energy, including programs to advance vehicle electrification through California’s Zero Emission Vehicles and Advanced Clean Truck Initiatives. This will continue to apply next year because we are working for. The state also plans to use federal funds provided through recently enacted legislation to advance investments in clean energy or climate-resilient infrastructure, including EV charging infrastructure.
So 2023 promises to be a busy and interesting year for automotive policy, and while we may not see any major new legislation signed into law, policymakers in Washington and many states Efforts to accelerate the transition to electrification will continue.
Ian Greig, Chief Executive of the Global Policy Group, a Washington-based public policy consulting firm, writes for AutomotiveWorld on a wide range of US public policy trends and their implications for the automotive industry.