Lawsuits filed by Republican states against EPA and California over electric truck mandate

A group of Republican state attorneys general took a stand on Tuesday by filing two lawsuits against the Biden administration and the state of California. These legal actions aim to challenge the emissions regulations imposed on trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles.

A lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently finalized rules. The EPA’s rules, which are expected to prevent up to 1 billion tons of carbon emissions over the next three decades, mandate that approximately 30 percent of heavy-duty trucks must be completely emissions-free by 2032.

In another lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of California, the plaintiffs argue that California’s truck emissions regulations have a nationwide impact due to the significant role of California ports in shipping. The regulations in question would mandate that half of all medium- and heavy-duty vehicles acquired by state and local governments be emissions-free from 2024 to 2026, with the requirement increasing to 100 percent by 2027. Additionally, the rules stipulate that all new drayage trucks, which are used to transport containers and bulk goods, added to California’s fleet must be zero-emission starting from January 1st.

Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers (R) took charge of a coalition comprising 24 states for the EPA lawsuit, while 17 states and a trucking trade group joined forces for the California complaint.

According to a statement made by Hilgers, the state of California and the EPA are attempting to overhaul the trucking industry and supply chain infrastructure on a national level. This initiative, which is being pursued despite concerns over inflation and an already strained electrical grid, is expected to have a detrimental impact on the trucking and logistics sector. It is predicted that this move will result in increased prices for customers and a significant loss of jobs in Nebraska and throughout the country. Hilgers argues that neither California nor the EPA possess the constitutional authority to impose such nationwide regulations on the American people.

The Biden administration has set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, with a special focus on the transportation sector and the trucking industry. In 2021, medium- and heavy-duty trucks accounted for nearly a quarter of the total transportation emissions, making them the second-largest contributor after light-duty vehicles, as reported by the EPA.

The EPA declined to provide a comment on the ongoing litigation, according to a statement given to The Hill.

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