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Red States Slap California, Biden Admin With Lawsuits To Halt Electric Truck Push

Large coalitions of red states are suing regulators in Washington, D.C., and California over rules designed to effectively require increases in electric vehicle (EV) adoption.

Nebraska is leading a 24-state coalition in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently-finalized emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and a 17-state coalition suing the state of California in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California over its Advanced Clean Fleet rules. Both regulations would increase the number of heavy-duty EVs on the road, a development that could cause serious disruptions and cost increases across the U.S. economy, as supply chain and trucking sector experts have previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“California and an unaccountable EPA are trying to transform our national trucking industry and supply chain infrastructure. This effort—coming at a time of heightened inflation and with an already-strained electrical grid—will devastate the trucking and logistics industry, raise prices for customers, and impact untold number of jobs across Nebraska and the country,” Republican Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers said in a statement. “Neither California nor the EPA has the constitutional power to dictate these nationwide rules to Americans. I am proud to lead our efforts to stop these unconstitutional attempts to remake our economy and am grateful to our sister states for joining our coalitions.”

Heavy Duty Complaint by Nick Pope on Scribd

ACF Complaint by Nick Pope on Scribd

While specifics vary depending on the type of heavy-duty vehicle, EPA’s emissions standards will effectively mandate that EVs make up 60% of new urban delivery trucks and 25% of long-haul tractors sold by 2032, according to The Wall Street Journal. The agency has also pushed aggressive emissions standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles that will similarly force an increase in EVs’ share of new car sales over the next decade.

California’s Advanced Clean Fleet rules, meanwhile, will require that 100% of trucks sold in the state will be zero-emissions models starting in 2036, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). While not federal, the California rules are of importance to other states because there are numerous other states who follow California’s emissions standards, which can be tighter than those required by the EPA and other federal agencies.

Critics fear that this dynamic will effectively enable California to set national policies and nudge manufacturers in the direction of EVs at a greater rate and scale than the Biden administration is pursuing.

Trucking industry and supply chain experts have previously told the DCNF that both regulations threaten to cause serious problems for the country’s supply chains and wider economy given that the technology for electric and zero-emissions trucks is simply not yet ready to be mandated at scale, among other issues.

Neither CARB nor the EPA responded immediately to requests for comment.

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