The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear arguments Thursday and Friday in three cases challenging the Biden administration’s rules for cars and trucks.Transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming, and legal cases could go all the way Supreme Court.

Republican attorneys general say legal challenges are needed to limit government overreach, while environmental groups and the Biden administration say an adverse ruling could jeopardize protections from deadly pollution that drives climate change.

The appeals court case will test a 2021 Environmental Protection Agency rule: Strengthen exhaust pollution restrictions and the 2022 EPA decision Restore California’s authority to set its own tailpipe pollution standards Suitable for cars and SUVs. At least 15 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to California’s vehicle standards, which are more stringent than federal regulations and are intended to address the state’s severe air pollution problems. Seven of the 10 most ozone-polluted cities in the United States are in California.

The third case challenge mileage standard Developed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton leads a coalition of Republican-leaning state and oil industry groups that are challenging the tailpipe emissions rules.

“At a time when U.S. natural gas prices are soaring and conflicts in Russia and Ukraine have once again demonstrated the absolute necessity of energy independence, President (Joe) Biden has chosen to go to war on fossil fuels,” Paxton said. Texas Senate Impeachment Trial on unrelated corruption and bribery charges.

He said the rules would put Texas and other oil and gas-producing states at a disadvantage.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who is leading a separate case challenging California’s standards, said the exemption is a delegation of federal power to a state and is inappropriate.

But Peter Zalzal, a senior attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy group involved in two of the legal cases, said the rules are “legal, constitutional and vital.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council, another environmental group, called the lawsuits an “unprecedented attack” by the oil industry and Republican-led states on federal clean air standards.

“The fossil fuel industry and its allies want to weaken the EPA and NHTSA so that the next round of clean car standards cannot deliver the carbon pollution reductions needed to combat the climate crisis,” NRDC attorney Pete Huffman wrote in a memo this week.

An EPA spokesman declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation.

But Todd King, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said in a legal filing that the EPA has performed well within its authority in regulating tailpipe pollution.

The court cases come as the Biden administration is pushing the auto industry to quickly adopt electric vehicles as part of its climate agenda. The Infrastructure Act of 2021 and the Climate Act of 2022 include billions of dollars in incentives to purchase new and used electric vehicles and state New charging station network. All-electric vehicles account for only 6.7% of U.S. new car sales, but analysts expect that number to grow rapidly in the coming years. Major automakers including General Motors and Ford have pledged to go all-out on electric vehicles, with General Motors saying it will stop selling new gasoline passenger cars by 2035.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents companies that make 98% of new cars sold in the United States, said in a court filing that the EPA’s tailpipe emissions rules for the 2026 model year “will pose challenges to the entire industry.” But the alliance said the rule was designed by the EPA to “balance overall stringency with critically important flexibility” to allow automakers to use a range of pollution controls while adopting electric vehicle technology.

“Reducing (greenhouse gas) emissions from all sectors of the U.S. economy is a national priority,” the group wrote. “Automotive Innovators’ members are committed to doing their part.”

The Justice Department disputes the so-called “material issues” doctrine cited by the Supreme Court in a landmark ruling that limits how the EPA regulates carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.court Judgment June 2022 In West Virginia v. EPA , Congress held that when Congress wants to grant an agency regulation over an issue of national significance, it must do so with specificity.

In the tailpipe pollution rule, “EPA is not doing anything unexpected or novel at all but rather tightening existing standards,” King wrote. In doing so, the EPA “used the same regulatory approach as every vehicle greenhouse gas rule,” he said.

King said in a separate filing that Ohio’s complaint that California’s exemption is illegal is “not supported by text, history or precedent.”

King said Ohio and other states do not have standing to challenge California’s exemption because they are not regulated by the exemption.

EDF attorney Zal Zal called Ohio’s challenge ironic, noting that the state is not seeking the right to set its own standards. “They just want to deny California’s traditional authority that has been guaranteed by federal law for over 50 years,” he said.


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