Barrasso: Reality is Catching Up with Biden’s Energy Fantasies

January 11, 2024

Click here to watch Senator Barrasso’s opening remarks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered remarks at a full committee hearing to examine federal electric vehicle incentives.

The hearing featured testimony from the Honorable David M. Turk, Deputy Secretary of Energy, and the Honorable Adewale O. Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.

For more information on witness testimony click here.  

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

“Thanks, Mr. Chairman.

“Thanks for holding this hearing on federal subsidies for electric cars.

“These government handouts are the centerpiece of the disastrous so-called  Inflation Reduction Act.

“Just about everything President Biden claimed about the IRA is false. 

“And Mr. Chairman, I am happy that you showed those signs which point out the lawlessness of the Biden administration when it comes to the law.

“What the I-R-A really stands for to me is irresponsible, reckless, and alarming.

“So, let’s start with the cost.

“According to a Goldman Sachs analysis, the electric car subsidies in the IRA will cost an estimated $393 billion.

“That analysis is 28 times more than what the Congressional Budget Office estimated.

“Our national debt is now $34 trillion.

“And thanks to the IRA we are about to spend hundreds of billions of dollars – that we don’t have – to subsidize electric cars that the great majority of Americans do not want.

“This is especially true in Wyoming, where electric cars simply cannot compete with conventional vehicles.

“The fact is, electric car subsidies go primarily to the state of California, where nearly 40% of all electric cars in America are being sold.

“So the hard-working families in my home state of Wyoming and the chairman’s home state of West Virginia, and other states represented significantly by members of this committee are getting stuck subsidizing wealthy people from California.

“The IRA is a shakedown.

“It’s also becoming very clear that President Biden hasn’t thought through the consequences of his so-called energy transition.

“His efforts to force feed Americans electric cars will cause greater instability – greater instability in our nation’s electric system.

“There is a group that we refer to as ‘NERC.’ It’s the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. It has warned of increased risks from the premature closure of coal and natural gas power plants.

“The Biden administration does not seem to care. The Biden administration is working to shut down even more of these power plants while promoting a huge new source of demand on the grid which is of course electric cars.

“Just consider that fully charging a single electric car consumes the same amount of electricity needed to power an entire house during times of peak demand.

“Does the President have any clue that his math is not working?

“It doesn’t add up.

“No one really believes that two-thirds of the new cars sold in America in 2032 are going to be electric.

“The Biden administration’s fixation on these electric cars amounts to wishful thinking on his part.

“That despite generous subsidies, demand for electric cars is stagnating.

“Car dealers are opting out of selling and opting out of servicing them.

“Compare to owners of conventional cars, owners of electric cars are paying higher repair costs, higher insurance rates, and by the way they are getting less resale value.

“And the headline today Mr. Chairman, and I ask unanimous consent to put this in the record is from Bloomberg. We’re talking about resale values.

“Hertz reports today, they are going to sell 20,000 EVs in its shift back to gas powered cars. So much for the Biden economy.

“So the first paragraph of this – Hertz Global Holdings plans to sell a third, a third of its US Electric Vehicle fleet and reinvest in gas powered cars they say, due to weak demand and high repair costs for its battery powered options.  

“The American public is seeing the exact same thing and they are getting hit with similar bills.

“The damage that the IRA will do to America’s automotive sector is potentially catastrophic.

“In the first nine months of 2023, Ford Motor Company alone lost $3.1 billion on electric cars.

“Losses like that can’t go on for long.

“Perhaps worst of all, the IRA plays right into the hands of the Chinese and other foreign companies.

“You’ve heard the expression ‘follow the money.’

“Well, if you want to follow the IRA money, the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, you’re going to need a passport because the money is going all over the world.

“Mr. Chairman, as you have repeatedly pointed out, the Biden administration has allowed electric car subsidies to flow to foreign companies in countries that are hostile to American interests.

“Recently, the Chinese carmaker BYD topped Tesla as the world’s largest electric car manufacturer.

“In Europe, that company outsold Tesla in the last quarter of 2023.

“BYD’s goal is to be the biggest electric car manufacture in Europe by 2030.

“The administration has said it welcomes Chinese companies as ‘big players’ the administration says in renewable electric car markets.

“This is a terrible mistake.

“The IRA will push us away from the fuels and technologies where America has the lead and push us towards the minerals and technologies that are currently controlled by China.

“We need to change course.

“President Biden wants to subsidize and regulate our way to greater energy security and lower emissions.

“He wants to force the nation to adopt a single technology that only works in certain zip codes.

“That is a recipe for failure.

“We need to return to a pro-America ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy.

“We also need a comparable ‘all-of-the-above’ vehicle strategy.

“A strategy that includes more efficient internal combustion engines, hydrogen fuel cells, compressed natural gas, and hybrid vehicles.

“These are technologies that can increase consumer choice while also reducing emissions.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”