FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, along with 24 of his fellow Republican attorneys general around the nation, has challenged the Biden Administration’s clampdown on tailpipe emissions.
Meanwhile, a group of Democratic counterparts from 20 states urged more stringent requirements.
Back in April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed that new 2027-32 automobiles meet strict new requirements, estimating that carmakers would need to electrify at least 60% of their production by 2030 and 67% by 2032.
The EPA is also working on strict new requirements for big rig emissions as well.
This news comes just a day after heavy-duty truck and engine manufacturers and environmental regulations officials in California announced an agreement on emissions rules designed to give companies greater flexibility to meet the state’s strict emissions requirements.
For complete coverage on that issue, click here.
Back in Kentucky, a statement from Cameron’s office contends that the president’s plan “would forcibly phase out gas-powered vehicles and restructure the automobile industry around electric vehicles (EVs) at a breakneck pace. The draconian proposal aims to boost certain EV sales from 8.4% of total vehicle sales today to 67% by 2032.”
Cameron and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led 25 states in a letter opposing the EPA plan, arguing the move would damage our economy, undermine the reliability of the nation’s electrical grids, tax the families and businesses who depend on them and threaten national security.
“President Biden wants to use the power of government to force a massive shift in demand for automobiles, with the government putting its thumb on the scale in favor of EVs. But Americans don’t want what he is selling,” Cameron said. “This is the latest head-in-the-sand approach to achieving the left’s impossible green-energy fantasies. Government shouldn’t pick winners and losers, and an EPA rule that would kill gas-powered vehicles does just that.”
Kentucky and West Virginia’s coalition argues that “the aggressive shift to EVs is counterproductive and misguided. America’s power grids not only lack the capacity to accommodate the proposed rule’s new demands but are also nowhere near secure enough to handle them safely. EPA’s also plan hinders American energy independence and makes the country less secure,” their letter states.
The attorneys general highlight how the Biden Administration’s “fast-and-furious approach to electrification will have devastating consequences for the automotive supply chain. America would be weaker and more dependent on foreign adversaries like China, which supplies many of the minerals necessary for electric vehicles.”
Earlier this year, Cameron led a 19-state coalition in opposing the EPA’s regulation of air quality standards. He also challenged proposals to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and to make illegal over 50 percent of gas stoves currently on the market.
Cameron and Morrisey are joined by attorneys general in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
During the Arkansas Trucking Association’s annual conference Wednesday, May 17, in Little Rock, American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Spear told attendees that it’s time to “turn up the volume and let our story be heard” over the EPA’s regulations and proposals.
The third phase of the EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan has caused the issue of big rig emissions to boil over, Spear said.
“Phase 3, on NoX, that’s the toughest stuff,” Spear said. “It’s like squeezing blood out of a rock.”
The Clean Trucks Plan calls for reducing production of diesel-fueled rigs and replacing them with vehicles powered by electricity or other alternative fuel sources in the coming years. In December 2022, the EPA finalized part of the plan that calls for cutting cut smog-and soot-forming emissions from new heavy-duty trucks beginning with model year 2027.
Spear contends the trucking industry has already made great strides in helping to reduce emissions on diesel engines.
“For 40 years, we have worked hand-in-glove with the SmartWay program with the EPA,” Spear said. “We have recognized carriers that have kept up with the latest environmentally friendly equipment.”
Clean Freight Coalition (CFC) Executive Director Jim Mullen also spoke out on the issue, saying in a statement that his organization and its members “are committed to the sustainable and affordable transition to zero-emission trucks. However, the unachievable standards and timelines set forth by California regulators jeopardize the entire supply chain and risk truck dealers having limited compliant products to sell and fleets holding onto their older trucks longer.”
Mullen added: “The CFC questions the benefits of this agreement. Policymakers could make an immediate impact on truck emissions by providing incentives for motor carriers to refresh their fleets with newer, more environmentally friendly trucks. For instance, eliminating the Federal Excise Tax on heavy trucks would provide immediate benefit by reducing emissions while improving roadway safety with trucks equipped with the latest technologies.”
In closing, Mullen said, “A patchwork of state regulations disrupts the trucking industry and our nation’s supply chain. The CFC will continue to advocate for a sustainable and affordable transition to a zero-emission future which protects the supply chain and does not pass the financial burden onto the hundreds of millions of American households and business consumers who depend on goods shipped by trucks.”
Democratic attorneys general from New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and other states said the EPA should go further.
“Strong emissions standards are necessary now to stave off the worst impacts of human-induced climate change,” they said, along with officials from six cities, including the District of Columbia, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.