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Friday, July 19, 2024

Second Round of Lawsuits Filed Over EPA Emissions Rule, EV Mandate

'The EPA has exceeded its congressional authority with this regulation that will eliminate most new gas cars and traditional hybrids from the U.S. market in less than a decade...'

(Bethany Blankley, The Center Square) – Several more groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency over a new emissions rule and electronic vehicle mandate it’s seeking to impose, which opponents argue would hurt the auto and agricultural industries.

It’s the second round of lawsuits filed against the EPA after 25 attorneys general sued over the rule in April.

The lawsuits seek to stop an EPA federal rule from going into effect, the “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium- Duty Vehicles,” proposed through the Clean Air Act. It requires car manufacturers to create “zero-emission vehicles and plug-in-hybrid electric vehicles in compliance with calculations, medium-duty vehicle incentive multipliers, and vehicle certification and compliance.”

It’s set to become effective June 17.

This is after in March, the Biden administration finalized new federal vehicle emissions standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles that require 68% of new passenger vehicles and 43% of new medium-duty trucks and vans to be electric by 2032.

In response, more than 4,000 dealerships from every state sent a letter to the president asking him to “tap the brakes” on the proposed EV mandate. After receiving no response, in January, more than 5,000 dealers sent a second letter urging him to “slam the brakes,” The Center Square reported.

Led by the American Petroleum Institute, the coalition includes the National Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation and six auto dealers representing sixteen brands that collectively operate dozens of dealerships in major markets nationwide. They include Mickey Anderson, president and CEO of Baxter Auto Group; Thomas Maoli, president and CEO of Celebrity Motor Cars; Roger Elswick, president and CEO of Community Auto Group; Steve Gates, owner of Gates Automotive Group; Phillip Tarver, owner of Lake Charles Toyota; and Bob Loquercio, owner of Bob Loquercio Auto Group.

The coalition sued the EPA in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday “to protect American consumers, U.S. manufacturing workers and our nation’s hard-won energy security from this intrusive government mandate,” API Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ryan Meyers said. “The EPA has exceeded its congressional authority with this regulation that will eliminate most new gas cars and traditional hybrids from the U.S. market in less than a decade.”

“By approving tailpipe standards that focus exclusively on electric vehicles, the EPA has ignored the proven benefits corn ethanol plays in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combatting climate change,” Minnesota farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Harold Wolle said. “While it could take decades to get enough electric vehicles on the road to significantly lower GHG emissions, ethanol is a critical and effective climate solution that is available now. We have tried to make this case to EPA to no avail, and now we will make our case in court.”

“Farmers answered the call to help America be more sustainable by growing the crops necessary for renewable fuels. Now, the rug is being pulled out from underneath them with unrealistic emissions goals that put years of investment at risk,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said. “Impractical standards for light-duty and medium-duty trucks will drive up the cost of farm vehicles and force farmers to rely on a charging network that does not yet exist in rural areas.”

The lawsuits were filed as 50% of likely voters surveyed say the Biden administration should reduce its electric vehicle sales target and car dealers say consumers’ interest in buying EVs has waned, a recent The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll found.

The EPA continued to push for more EV mandates and emission standard requirements as car manufacturers’ profits dropped and many announced layoffs and plans to scrap their proposed EV production plans, The Center Square reported.

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