Multiple Groups Sue EPA Over Heavy Trucking Electrification Mandate

On June 18, several organizations—including EMA, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), California Asphalt Pavement Association (CalAPA), California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA), Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association (LMOGA), National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), and Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA)—filed a petition with the DC Circuit Court to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its March final rule that imposes an electrification mandate on the U.S. heavy trucking sector.

The heavy-duty trucking lawsuit follows last week’s challenge to EPA’s light- and medium-duty vehicle emissions standards for model years 2027-2032. EMA, along with several business groups and States, have asked the courts to review EPA’s prior tailpipe emissions standards for model year 2025 and 2026 vehicles and the Agency’s reinstatement of California’s Clean Air Act waiver to issue climate-based vehicle emissions standards. Whether California can blaze its own trail on combatting climate change also implicates the “major questions doctrine,” which holds that courts should not defer to agencies on questions of “vast economic or political significance” without explicit Congressional authority to do so. The appeals court will decide whether the Clean Air Act authorized California to regulate vehicle emissions to target a phenomenon like climate change which has a global cause and effect. Additionally, EMA joined an amicus curiae challenge to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s fuel-economy standards. Simply put, the Biden Administration’s final rules are an electrification mandate in disguise.

Even though automakers are committed to boosting EVs, many of them, as well as members on Capitol Hill, are raising questions about the Biden Administration’s new approach, from securing critical materials needed for EV batteries, to the availability of EV charging stations and the ability of electric grids to meet power needs. China’s stranglehold on the critical minerals industry and mining in Africa is a major concern. Additionally, given that heavy duty EVs weigh more than the internal combustion engine (ICE), there is a concern that more trips will be needed to carry products which will add more stress to our roads and bridges and likely result in more traffic deaths.

“Unfortunately, President Biden’s aggressive attempt to electrify the transportation sector will limit consumer choice on cleaner greener ICEs, increase Americans’ utility bills to subsidize a massive expansion of the electric grid for EV charging, and threaten the viability and jobs of small business energy marketers around the country, whether they deliver gasoline and diesel or renewable fuels like ethanol, biodiesel and renewable diesel,” said EMA President Rob Underwood.