Click here to watch Chairman Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor on the introduction of the Fairness for Every Driver Act.

This legislation will save billions in taxpayer funds by ending the federal electric vehicle tax credits and strengthen the Highway Trust Fund by ensuring that alternative fuel vehicle drivers pay into it. The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Pat Roberts (R-KS).

Read the text of the Fairness for Every Driver Act here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing the electric-car industry. The cost to taxpayers is billions of dollars.

“These subsidies have lasted now for nearly 30 years.

“In 2008, Washington added the tax credit for purchases of electric-vehicle.

“The market was still small but worth encouraging.

“But today, the market for electric vehicles is well established.

“The auto industry no longer needs these pricey subsidies for electric vehicles.

“I believe it is time to pull the plug on subsidies for electric vehicles.

“Leading manufacturers including General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen have announced plans to massively increase investment in the electric-vehicle market.

“Global automakers are promoting electric-car luxury brands, such as Bentley, Aston Martin, Maserati, Porsche and Cadillac.

“With these new electric vehicles coming to market, the subsidy program is going to continue to run at an enormous cost to American taxpayers.

“Congress first passed legislation to provide subsidies for electric-car buyers back in 1992.

“The purpose was to temporarily support a promising, environmentally friendly market.

“For decades, Washington expanded its program of tax credits.

“At the same time, states enacted similar subsidies.

“Between 2011 and 2017, electric-car buyers received more than $4 billion in federal credits alone – costing taxpayers up to $7,500 for each vehicle.

“The program disproportionately subsidizes wealthy buyers.

“Nearly 80 percent of the tax credits go to households earning at least $100,000 a year.

“These car buyers don’t need a taxpayer subsidy.

“The program has served its purpose.

“Today, 1 million electric vehicles travel our highways.

“The global demand for electric cars is rising as well.

“Now nearly every automaker is entering the market.

“In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that sales of light-duty electric vehicles will reach 4 million vehicles by 2025.

“Here is exhibit A, Mr. President: this past weekend was Super Bowl weekend - they had so many commercials that cost about $5 million to run an ad during the Super Bowl.

“The automaker Audi ran a commercial saying that by 2025 one-third of their cars will be an electric vehicle.

“So, I use that as exhibit A, Mr. President to say that this market is firmly established. 

“The market is positioned for expansion, and with it the cost of the subsidies.

“I believe it’s time to take taxpayers off the hook.

“I have introduced legislation, the Fairness for Every Driver Act, to end the electric-vehicle subsidy program.

“My legislation has three key goals.

“First, is to save taxpayers billions of dollars.

“Second, is to help maintain our aging roads.

“Third, is to reduce wasteful Washington spending.

“According to the Manhattan Institute, ending the subsidy would save taxpayers an estimated $20 billion.

“The electric-car market can thrive without Washington subsidies. We see that it is thriving and it is growing.

“Nearly every state now provides its own subsidies and added incentives.

“California even mandates the percentage of cars that must be zero-emission.

“This category is almost exclusively electric vehicles.

“In 2017, Californians purchased 95,000 electric vehicles.

“Now, residents of my home state of Wyoming – where driving distances are long and charging stations are few - only purchased 51.

“Hard-working Wyoming taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize wealthy California luxury car buyers.

“Ending the electric-car subsidies isn’t just about saving taxpayer dollars.

“It’s about our shared responsibility to maintain our highway system.

“The Highway Trust Fund is depleted.

“The Highway Trust Fund pays for road and bridge projects.

“Its main source of funding is the federal gas tax.

“Drivers of gas and diesel powered vehicles pay the tax every time they fill their tanks.

“Electric-car drivers avoid paying this fee.

“Although a Tesla puts as much strain on the highways as a Ford Focus, the Tesla driver pays next to nothing to fix the roads.

“Without congressional action, the Highway Trust Fund will be exhausted by 2021.

“This legislation ensures all drivers pay their fair share to improve America’s roads.

“It establishes an annual highway user fee for alternative-fuel vehicles.

“Comparable to the gas tax, this user fee would result in billions of dollars over the next decade to fund needed-road projects.

“All drivers use our roads.

“All drivers should contribute to maintain them.

“Electric cars are here to stay.

“The market is poised for growth with or without these subsidies.

“Congress should pull the plug on this program.

“It’s time to end the subsidy.

“It’s time to stop wasting taxpayer dollars.

“And it’s time to level the playing field for all drivers when it comes to paying for our roads and bridges.

“It’s time to pass the Fairness for Every Driver Act.”