In a significant turn of events, a high-ranking official within the Biden administration, instrumental in formulating regulations to promote EV adoption, has announced her imminent departure. Ann Carlson, acting administrator for the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will be relinquishing her position later this month, as revealed in an internal agency memo.

Carlson’s tenure has been marked by intense criticism from Republican politicians who have vehemently opposed her stance on climate activism and her unwavering support for regulations targeting conventional gas-powered vehicles. Furthermore, her leadership in an acting capacity, despite Senate rejection of her nomination for a permanent role, has stoked controversy and drawn significant backlash.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden nominated Carlson for the permanent leadership of the NHTSA. However, her nomination faced stiff opposition from Senate Commerce Committee Republicans due to concerns about her prior work in the private sector and her controversial statements regarding her role in the Biden administration. Ultimately, Carlson’s nomination was revoked in May, but she continued to serve as the acting administrator.

“Ann Carlson’s appointment as acting administrator ran counter to the law, as Senate Republicans consistently pointed out,” emphasized Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz. “Her attempts to reshape auto fuel economy standards into an unpopular de facto EV mandate, despite her illegal appointment, should not go unchallenged.” Cruz was referring to the fuel economy regulations Carlson spearheaded despite her nomination being withdrawn. He further added, “I am hopeful that President Biden will nominate an individual with the requisite safety expertise to lead the NHTSA, rather than another radical ‘Green New Deal’ advocate.”

Ted Cruz went on to denounce Carlson’s nomination as “illegal” while expressing strong opposition to her policy positions. “President Biden’s unlawful appointment of Ann Carlson, who was essentially rejected by the Senate due to concerns about her extreme agenda and radical track record, will only result in more mandates, increased costs for American families, and a less robust economy,” Cruz stated earlier this year.

Colleagues of Carlson have indicated that she will return to her previous role within the federal government. A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation stated, “Ann has been an exceptional leader. Her tenure as Acting Administrator of NHTSA was time-limited under the Vacancies Reform Act. She will resume her previous position as a senior advisor and Chief Counsel for a month to facilitate a smooth transition.”

The statement also praised Carlson’s purported accomplishments during her tenure, including strengthening child seat standards, advocating for Automated Emergency Braking in both light and heavy vehicles, overseeing significant recalls, and holding accountable those engaged in odometer fraud and misconduct. Additionally, it highlighted the noteworthy decline in road fatalities over six consecutive quarters during Carlson’s leadership.

With electric vehicles emerging as a contentious political issue, former President Donald Trump has recently voiced his strong opposition to Democratic regulations targeting gas-powered cars. Trump remarked, “It’s astounding when you consider their desire to raise taxes and replace your car with an electric one that requires frequent charging. It’s preposterous what’s happening. Americans should have the option to purchase either an electric or gasoline-powered vehicle. This is destroying our nation.”