EPA's new truck emissions standards target of lawsuit by 24 states

Updated May 19, 2024
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In the latest show of opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's new truck emissions standards, 24 Republican state attorneys general Monday, May 13, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. a request for review of the regulations finalized earlier this year. 

In a separate action, 17 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against California's Advanced Clean Fleets rule.

The two lawsuits come at about the same time Republican legislators introduced resolutions to block the EPA's latest efforts to tighten emissions standards. 

“California and an unaccountable EPA are trying to transform our national trucking industry and supply chain infrastructure," said Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers in a statement issued by his office. "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. Neither California nor the EPA has the constitutional power to dictate these nationwide rules to Americans."

In a statement Monday, Hilgers said both lawsuits argue that the Biden Administration and California regulators have exceeded their constitutional and statutory authority in attempting to force the entire country to transition to electric trucks. In addition to their legal flaws, both regulations "defy reality", according to Hilgers. Electric trucks are inefficient and costly and will harm citizens of Nebraska by increasing the costs of interstate transportation, raising prices for goods, and burdening the electric power grid, Hilgers said.

The states’ D.C. Circuit suit targets the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule imposing stringent tailpipe emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles that effectively forces manufacturers to produce more electric trucks and fewer internal-combustion trucks.

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The states’ California suit challenges several California regulations called Advanced Clean Fleets, which require certain trucking fleet owners and operators to retire internal-combustion trucks and transition to electric trucks. 

The states joining's Nebraska's lauwsuit against the Biden Administration include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

States joining Nebraska's suit against California are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The Arizona State Legislature and the Nebraska Trucking Association also joined the lawsuit.