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Biden administration, California sued by AGs over truck emission rules

Robert Besser
18 May 2024

OMAHA, Nebraska: A coalition of Republican attorneys general, led by Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers, filed legal challenges against the Biden administration and the state of California over new truck emission regulations.

The group petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that sets stringent truck emissions limits. In a separate legal action, they claim California's phased-in ban on internal combustion trucks is unconstitutional and could damage the U.S. economy.

"These rules will devastate the trucking and logistics industry, raise prices for customers, and impact an untold number of jobs across Nebraska and the country," Hilgers stated.

He further highlighted the lack of infrastructure to support the shift, noting, "There is not one trucking charging station in the state of Nebraska. Trying to take that industry, which was built up over decades with diesel and fossil fuels-based infrastructure, and transforming it to an electric-based infrastructure-it is probably not feasible."

The EPA has defended the new rules, which will be implemented from 2027 through 2032. It states that they will help mitigate climate change by preventing up to 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades.

The agency also noted that the emissions restrictions could benefit an estimated 72 million Americans who live near freight routes and are disproportionately affected by air pollution.

California's specific regulations, challenged in the lawsuit, would prohibit the sale of diesel-powered big rigs and buses starting in 2036. California has aggressively pursued policies to eliminate fossil fuels, which has sparked pushback from industries and Republican leaders in various states.

The EPA declined to comment on the lawsuits due to the ongoing litigation. California's Air Resources Board did not immediately return a request for comment.

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, and others are among the 23 states joining Nebraska in the lawsuit against the EPA. The legal challenge against California's rules includes 15 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Missouri.

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