Recently, a top official in the Biden administration who was a key figure in creating regulations pushing EV adoption has announced she will be stepping down from her position. According to an internal agency memo, Ann Carlson, the acting administrator for the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will vacate the position later this month.
Republican politicians consistently criticized Carlson’s stance on climate activism and support of regulations aimed at traditional gas-powered vehicles. She also sparked backlash for leading the NHTSA in an acting role despite failing Senate confirmation for the position in a permanent manner.
Earlier this year, Joe Biden appointed Carlson to lead the NHTSA permanently. However, Republicans in the Senate Commerce Committee strongly opposed the nomination over her past private sector work and her controversial comments regarding her position within the Biden administration. Carlson’s nomination was revoked in May, although she continued serving as the acting administrator.
“As Senate Republicans pointed out repeatedly, Ann Carlson was serving as acting administrator contrary to the law,” Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz explained. “Her attempts to hijack this safety agency by rewriting auto fuel economy standards into an unpopular de facto EV mandate should not stand as a result of her illegal appointment.” Cruz was referring to fuel economy regulations Carlson created despite having her nomination withdrawn. “I am hopeful President Biden will nominate someone with the requisite safety experience to lead NHTSA, not another radical, ‘Green New Deal’ activist,” Cruz added.
Ted Cruz further slammed Carlson’s nomination as “illegal” while denouncing her stances on various policy matters. “President Biden’s illegal appointment of Ann Carlson, who was effectively rejected by the Senate due to concerns about her extreme agenda and radical record, will only yield more mandates, higher costs for families and a less vibrant economy,” Cruz said earlier this year.
Carlson’s colleagues noted she would return to a prior position in the federal government. “Ann has been a tremendous leader — her time as Acting Administrator of NHTSA was time limited under the Vacancies Reform Act,” a DOT spokesperson stated. “She is returning to her previous role of senior advisor and Chief Counsel for one month to assist with the transition.”
“Under her leadership, NHTSA strengthened child seat standards, moved to require Automated Emergency Braking in light and heavy vehicles, oversaw major recalls, held registered importers and those who commit odometer fraud accountable for their bad acts, and after horrific increases in previous years, for six straight quarters roadway fatalities have declined,” the statement added, continuing to applaud her purported accomplishments at the department.
As electric vehicles have become a hot political topic, essentially split down partisan lines, former President Donald Trump recently made it very clear where he stands with Democrat regulations aimed at gas-powered cars. “It’s so crazy when you look at the fact that they want to raise taxes, when they want to take away your car and give you an electric car, that doesn’t go far. You got to you got to charge it up every 2 minutes. It’s ridiculous what’s going on. You should be able to buy an electric car, but you should be able to buy a combustion gas combustion car, a gasoline operated car. It’s so crazy what they’re doing, destroying our country,” Trump said.
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