Ethanol producers, 16 states challenge EPA U.S. vehicle rules

Source: By David Shepardson and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Signage is seen at the headquarters of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) – A group of 16 U.S. states, some corn and soybean growers associations, the American Fuel And Petrochemical Manufacturers and others are challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) tougher vehicle emission rules.

The corn growers, a Valero Energy (VLO.N) subsidiary and other ethanol producers said the new EPA rules revising emission requirements through 2026 “effectively mandate the production and sale of electric cars rather than cars powered by internal combustion engines.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a challenge joined by Ohio, Alabama, Arkansas, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah. The state of Arizona filed a separate legal challenge.

An EPA spokeswoman said the agency is reviewing the petitions and declined further comment.

The new rules, which take effect in the 2023 model year and require a 28.3% reduction in vehicle emissions through 2026, reverse former President Donald Trump’s rollback of car pollution cuts and aim to speed a U.S. shift to more electric vehicles. read more

U.S. President Joe Biden wants 50% of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be EV or plug-in hybrid models but has not endorsed California’s plan to phase out new gas-powered light-duty vehicles by 2035.

The state soybean groups and another Valero subsidiary said the final rule exceeds “EPA’s authority by favoring one technology, electric vehicles, over others, including” ethanol produced by the farmers.

The EPA failed to “adequately considering the vast greenhouse gas reduction benefits provided by renewable fuels,” they added.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute and Domestic Energy Producers Alliance also filed a separate challenge saying the rule seeks “to establish stringent fleet-wide automobile emission standards with credit trading and enhanced credits for electric vehicles, but the agency lacks the legal authority to issue such a rule.”

The suits were made public a day after conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared skeptical of the EPA’s authority to issue sweeping regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in a case that could undermine Biden’s plans to tackle climate change.

Reporting by David Shepardson; additional reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; editing by Chris Reese and Marguerita Choy

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