Largest US oil trade group to sue to block Biden’s EV push

Source: By Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2024

June 13 (Reuters) – The nation’s largest oil trade group, which includes Exxon Mobil and Chevron, will file a federal lawsuit on Thursday seeking to block the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce planet-warming emissions from cars and light trucks and encourage electric vehicle manufacturing, the group said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued new tailpipe emission rules in March that will force the nation’s automakers to produce and sell more electric vehicles to meet the new standards. Under the rule, the administration projects up to 56% of all car sales will be electric between 2030 and 2032.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) says the EPA has exceeded its congressional authority with a regulation that will eliminate most new gas cars and traditional hybrids from the U.S. market in less than a decade.

“Today, we are taking action to protect American consumers, U.S. manufacturing workers and our nation’s hard-won energy security from this intrusive government mandate,” API Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ryan Meyers said.

The law suit will be filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The National Corn Growers Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation will join API as co-petitioners. The two groups rely on gas-powered cars to support the corn-ethanol industry.

“By approving tailpipe standards that focus exclusively on electric vehicles, EPA has ignored the proven benefits corn ethanol plays in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change,” Minnesota farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Harold Wolle said.

In April, Republican attorneys general from 25 states on sued the EPA to block the same rules.

The regulations are among the most significant environmental rules implemented under President Joe Biden, who has made tackling climate change a key pillar of his presidency. It has also complicated his relationship with a key ally, the United Auto Workers, who have been slow to embrace the transition to electric vehicles.

In the final rule, Biden slashed its target for electric vehicle adoption amid auto worker backlash, but the watering down of the measure did little to pacify an oil industry that needs gas-powered cars to survive.

For both Biden and his Republican rival, Donald Trump, the road to the White House goes through industrial states Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania where workers fear that the EV transition threatens jobs.

Trump has repeatedly excoriated electric vehicles and promised to rollback the new tailpipe standards.

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Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Heather Timmons and Diane Craft

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