Majority of voters favor gasoline-car phaseout. But all-electric goal faces tough opposition from the oil industry which still wants gasoline-tax money
An oil industry lobbyist who spoke on condition of anonymity described how the industry had used its powerful position in Washington to advance its agenda until it was confronted with a new threat: the auto industry was beginning to gain a foothold in the electric car market.
Oil industry lobbyists had “bought and paid for” members of the House and Senate who had passed the landmark auto legislation, he said.
“They bought and paid for their way into the White House in 2008 and 2013,” said the lobbyist. “They’ve always had the White House as their back door. They’ve had a very easy way to get there.”
Oil industry lobbyists have dominated Washington for years, so it comes as no surprise that the industry and its allies in Congress were able to get the critical vote they sought. That is, until they received an unexpected warning from the auto industry’s top lobbyist that their plans were being challenged by an electric car startup that was on its way to the market.
The oil industry, like most of its lobbyists, got what they wanted. The main question hanging over the future of the auto industry, as it enters a new era, is what to do with its existing car and truck industry, and how to best move forward amid the ongoing turmoil in the oil industry.
Here are the key questions that must be answered by Congress and President Trump as soon as the Senate comes back into session May 16:
Should the country phase out gasoline cars?
A majority of voters oppose any action to phase out gasoline cars in favor of all electric vehicles or hybrids, according to a Gallup survey released this month. Nearly four in 10 say they want a national policy to expand the use of EVs or plug-in hybrids. The poll was conducted last week and was taken of 1,715 participants.
It is clear that voters want a national policy to replace the gasoline-fueled cars with all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in the United States.
In the early days of the EV surge, it was a rare moment when a car salesman