WASHINGTON, D.C. – During an Environmental and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing titled, “Cleaner Vehicles: Good for Consumers and Public Health,” U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) highlighted seeming hypocrisies with the Biden administration’s “green” priorities.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced a plan to increase the usage of electric vehicles with a goal of these cars making up 50% of new car sales by 2030. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two proposed rules on greenhouse gas emission standards with a goal of 67% of new car purchases being electric vehicles by the year 2032. Manufacturing electric vehicle batteries requires cobalt, lithium, graphite and manganese. China is the largest producer of lithium, graphite and manganese, while the Democratic Republic of Congo is the largest exporter of cobalt in the world. These countries have much lower environmental standards than the United States.
While questioning Kathy Harris, Senior Advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Lummis asked Harris if climate change is a worldwide problem, why would the United States increase its reliance on countries with far less stringent environmental standards, like China and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“I have a rare earth mine in my state that has been trying to open for over ten years and still doesn’t have the environmental permitting to open. There is no way that the standards and the materials needed to produce and manufacture in the United States can happen in ten years and to ramp up the supply even in foreign countries that have far lower environmental standards, not to mention human labor standards, this is not possible to do,” said Lummis.
For video of Sen. Lummis’ questioning during the hearing, click here.