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Missouri attorney general joins Texas challenge to EPA’s regulations on passenger car, light truck emissions

  
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Today, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, along with Texas and 12 other state attorneys general, filed suit against the Biden Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their proposed regulatory rule that seeks to increase the stringency of greenhouse gas emissions for light trucks and vehicles, which could impose immense negative economic impacts on individual states.

“The Biden Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency’s capitulation to the extreme terms of the Green New Deal will have massive negative impacts on the country’s economy, and will impose extreme burdens on specific states that will bear the brunt of the ill-advised daydreams of Green New Deal advocates,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Increasing the stringency of emissions standards on passenger cars and light trucks will prove costly for ordinary citizens who need to drive their cars on our highways and streets to get to work, to provide for their families. To pretend that electric vehicles produce zero emissions, especially while automotive producers continue to implement measures to reduce emissions, is ridiculous. My Office has led the way in pushing back on this Green New Deal authoritarianism, and we will continue to fight for the people of Missouri.”

At issue is the EPA’s Revised 2023 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards, referred to as the “final rule.” On model year 2023 through 2026 cars and light trucks, the final rule increases the stringency of the emissions standards by large percentages. The Biden EPA is ostensibly increasing these emissions standards in an attempt to phase out gas-fueled vehicles in exchange for electric vehicles.

The stringency increases are as follows:

  • Between model year (MY) 2022 and MY2023, the Rule increases what was a roughly 1.5 percent rate of stringency increase (in the SAFE standard) to a nearly 10 percent stringency increase.
  • For MY2024, the Rule imposes a 5 percent stringency increase over the previous standard.
  • In MY2025, the stringency of the standards increases by 6.6 percent.
  • In MY2026, the Rule imposes a 10 percent stringency increase, plus an additional 10 grams/mile increased stringency.
Further, despite the Biden EPA’s goal to render it costly to operate and maintain gas-fueled vehicles and require drivers to switch to expensive electric vehicles, the final rule does not consider the emissions that are emitted in the making and disposing of batteries and other components required by electric vehicles, nor does it consider emissions that may be associated by providing charging stations. By using “tailpipe only” emissions standards, the final rule ridiculously assigns 0 g/mile emissions to electric vehicles.

The Biden EPA’s estimates that the standards for MYs 2023-2026 would reduce gasoline demand by 361 billion gallons. For states that rely on oil production or provide carbon sequestration, this unconstitutional shift away from gas-powered vehicles could have severe negative impacts on states’ economies. Further, under the final rule, states will be required to meet increased energy demand and provide infrastructure for charging stations, which could cost untold millions of dollars. Lastly, the final rule’s arbitrary and capricious march towards an ill-advised electric-powered future fails to consider extreme weather like snow/ice storms or rapid evacuations.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office led a coalition of states in filing a comment letter on this same issue in September, which can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/home/news/2021/09/28/missouri-attorney-general-eric-schmitt-files-comment-letter-opposing-epa-overreach

The petition can be found here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/images/executive-management/Petition%20for%20Review%20(GHG%20Standards).pdf