Energy, business groups sue Biden over ‘EV mandate’ rule

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A Mercedes-Benz electric SUV (Photo by Ivan Kazlouskij on Unsplash)
A Mercedes-Benz electric SUV

By Nick Pope
Daily Caller News Foundation

Three coalitions of business interests are suing the Biden administration over its recently-finalized emissions standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles.

The coalitions — which include the American Petroleum Institute (API), the American Farm Bureau, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), numerous car dealers and more — filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Thursday morning to try to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules, which critics have characterized as an electric vehicle (EV) “mandate.” The regulations will require manufacturers to ensure that up to 56% of all new light-duty vehicle sales are EVs by model year 2032, according to the EPA.

“Today, we are taking action to protect American consumers, U.S. manufacturing workers and our nation’s hard-won energy security from this intrusive government mandate,” Ryan Meyers, API’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. “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. We look forward to making our case in court.”

The lawsuit alleges that EPA overstepped its mandate in issuing the rules, which the complainants describe as “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law.” The tailpipe standards represent one of President Joe Biden’s biggest individual actions to date on his $1 trillion-plus climate agenda.

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The EPA has also finalized stringent tailpipe emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) locked in its own aggressive update to fuel economy standards on Friday.

Beyond regulations, the administration has also spent billions of dollars to advance EV production and adoption. However, despite these efforts, manufacturers have lost considerable amounts of money on their EV product lines while consumers generally remain hesitant to purchase electric models due to factors like concerns about EV range and charger availability.

“The EPA doesn’t have a leg to stand on where its gas car ban regulation is concerned, and we are going to make that case in court,” Rob Underwood, the president of the Energy Marketers of America, said in a statement. “This regulation is clearly bad for consumers as it will quickly and drastically restrict their ability to find and purchase affordable new gas cars. It’s bad for marketers of American-made liquid fuels and for U.S. energy security. And importantly, it’s also unlawful. EPA does not have authority under the law to do this.”

The EPA declined to comment, citing the litigation’s ongoing nature, and the White House did not respond to a request for comment.

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