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Republican Party attorneys general are suing the Biden administration and California over gas truck regulations

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A large group of Republican attorneys general took legal action Monday against the Biden administration and California over new truck emissions limits.

Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers is leading the group of GOP attorneys general who have petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn an Environmental Protection Agency rule limiting truck emissions. to undo.

A separate lawsuit against California claims a phased-in ban on internal combustion trucks is unconstitutional and will hurt the U.S. economy.

Hilgers said in a statement that the EPA and California rules “will devastate the trucking and logistics industries, increase prices for customers and impact an untold number of jobs in Nebraska and the nation.”

“There is not one truck loading station in the state of Nebraska,” Hilgers later told reporters. “Trying to transform that industry, which has been built for decades on diesel and fossil fuel-based infrastructure, into an electricity-based infrastructure – that’s probably not feasible.”

EPA officials have said the strict emissions standards will help clean up some of the nation’s largest sources of planet-warming greenhouse gases.

The new EPA rules will take effect for model years 2027 through 2032, and the agency has said they will avoid up to 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades.

Emissions cuts could particularly benefit an estimated 72 million people in the U.S. who live near freight routes used by trucks and other heavy vehicles and who bear a disproportionate burden of hazardous air pollution, the agency said.

An EPA spokesperson declined to comment Monday on the legal challenge to the new rules, citing ongoing litigation.

The California rules challenged by Republican attorneys general would ban the sale of diesel-powered large rigs and buses in California starting in 2036.

An email requesting comment from the California Air Resources Board was not immediately returned Monday.

California has been aggressive in its efforts to wean itself from fossil fuels, passing new rules in recent years to phase out gas-powered cars, trucks, trains and lawn equipment in the nation’s most populous state. Industries and Republican leaders in other states are pushing back.

Another group of Republican Party-led states in 2022 challenged California’s authority to set emissions standards that are stricter than federal government rules. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled last month that the states failed to prove how California emissions standards would drive up the cost of gas-powered vehicles in their states.

States joining Nebraska’s latest action against the EPA are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

States joining Nebraska’s lawsuit against California are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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Ballentine contributed to this report from Columbia, Missouri.

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