This op-ed originally appeared in Billings Gazette.
The Biden administration just dealt a blow to Montana’s fuel manufacturers and every resident who wants to freely choose their next vehicle, whether gas- or diesel-fueled, hybrid or electric. With electric vehicles staged behind him, the President signed an executive order this month formalizing the goal that half of all new vehicle sales in the United States will be electric by 2030. He said policies are coming to give teeth to this ambition, regardless of whether drivers agree or can afford the plan, and even though our country has neither the supply chain nor the electric grid infrastructure to support it. We hope Senator Tester can be a voice of reason on this matter.
Vehicle efficiency is not a partisan issue. Every driver wants cleaner, more efficient cars and trucks. They also want them to be affordable, safe and family friendly. Fuel-powered internal combustion engine vehicles offer a range of options that satisfy these criteria, and they’re getting better every year. With Montana’s liquid fuel producers at the table, we can build a more sustainable vehicle fleet faster and at a lower cost than through extreme proposals centered around one technology (electric). And we can do so without putting in jeopardy 60 percent of Montana’s manufacturing sector and the 16,000 Montana jobs supported by fuel refineries in Billings, Laurel and Great Falls.
We can make progress toward our environmental objectives without undermining consumer choice, threatening Montana’s manufacturing economy or making transportation significantly more restrictive and expensive for drivers. Steering policy in this direction will require courage and action from Montana’s representatives in Congress, specifically Senator Jon Tester. As a respected member of President Biden’s party, Senator Tester’s support for Montana fuel refiners and the future of liquid fuels in America is critical in this moment. At stake are American energy and mineral security, affordable transportation and millions of jobs across Montana and the United States.
Read the full op-ed here.