Top EPA Official Pushing EVs Can’t Say How Much Electricity America Uses In A Year

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A top Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official tasked with guiding the Biden administration’s emissions regulation policies was unable to approximate how much electricity the U.S. uses in a year, despite his own agency pushing regulations that would effectively mandate widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and substantially increase overall electricity demand.

Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) Joseph Goffman admitted Thursday that he did not know how much electricity the U.S. uses in a year when asked by Republican Rep. August Pfluger of Texas during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on proposed EPA emissions regulations and Republican-sponsored legislation to counter them. Goffman’s admission regarding American energy demand comes as the OAR and EPA are pushing regulatory standards for American car production that would necessitate a large increase in electricity supply.

“How much electricity does the United States demand each year?,” Pfluger asked. “I don’t know that number off the top of my head,” Goffman responded.

“It’s 4 terawatts annually,” Pfluger said in reply.

The OAR is a subagency of the EPA that “develops national programs, policies, and regulations for controlling air pollution,” according to the OAR’s website. The proposed emissions regulations discussed at the hearing could make EVs “account for 67% of new light-duty vehicle sales and 46% of new medium-duty vehicle sales” in model year 2032, according to the EPA’s website. (RELATED: ‘Catastrophic Consequences’: Top US Grid Official Sounds The Alarm On Coal And Gas Power Plant Closures)


Pfluger continued the line of questioning, asking Goffman to identify “the percentage increase in electricity demand if we get to the 2030 and 2035 mandates that your agency is pushing for and the administration is pushing for.” Goffman cited figures of 0.4% by 2030 and 4% for 2050 in response to that question.

Goffman’s cited figures stand at odds with estimates by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm at an earlier hearing. Granholm had said that the Biden administration’s long-term push for EVs would “double our energy demand,” Pfluger said. When pressed for details regarding where the EPA expects to get that excess energy, Goffman responded that it would “come from a diverse grid.”

The U.S. would need to produce at least 20-50% more electricity than it used in 2019 if all cars on the road became EVs, according to analysis from USA Facts. Fossil fuels were responsible for about 60% of all U.S. electricity generated in 2022, while renewables only generated 22%, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Goffman’s admission came just one day after he conceded that he did not know how much the average EV sold in the U.S. costs despite his agency’s efforts to replace internal combustion engine cars with EVs.

The Biden administration allotted taxpayer funds amounting to $7.5 billion for EV charging stations, $10 billion for green transportation and over $7 billion for EV battery components in the bipartisan infrastructure law alone. The EV spending push is a pillar of the administration’s larger climate and infrastructure agenda. As a candidate for the presidency in 2019, Biden pledged a personal “guarantee” that his administration would “end fossil fuels.”

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