Farm groups have joined with the oil industry and independent truck drivers in filing a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s new emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles.

The challenge in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by the American Petroleum Institute, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, National Corn Growers Association, and American Farm Bureau Federation comes as ag and biofuel groups also are partnering with API to challenge emissions standards for automobiles.

The petition for review challenging EPA’s standards for heavy-duty vehicles says the agency’s regulations exceed its “statutory authority and is otherwise arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law.” The petition doesn’t lay out arguments why the standards should be overturned, which will come when the parties file briefs in the case.

“Farmers rely on heavy-duty trucks to transport livestock long distances, and they choose the most efficient routes to ensure the animals in their care remain on the vehicle for as little time as possible," American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says in a press release.

“Unfortunately, heavy-duty vehicles that are powered by batteries have short ranges and require hours to charge," he said. "Impractical regulations will extend the amount of time on the road, putting the health and safety of drivers and livestock at risk if they need to stop for long periods of time to charge.”

Clean Fuels Alliance America, which represents biodiesel and renewable diesel producers, filed a separate lawsuit challenging the truck standards. 

Last week, NCGA, AFBF and a group of six multi-state auto dealers joined API in a separate petition filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge new emission standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles.

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On Monday, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Farmers Union filed an additional petition seeking to overturn those standards. Under the final auto standards announced in March, electric vehicles are expected to account for 30% to 56% of new light duty sales for model years 2030-2032 and 20% to 32% of new medium-duty vehicle sales. 

“EPA grossly exceeded its statutory authority by finalizing regulations that effectively mandate the production of EVs, while blatantly excluding the ability of flex fuel vehicles and low-carbon, high-octane renewable fuels like ethanol to achieve significant vehicle emissions reductions,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper.

“By relying on the false premise that battery electric vehicles have ‘zero emissions’ and no impact on the climate, the regulation essentially forces automakers to swiftly ramp up the production EVs and phase out liquid-fueled vehicles that could actually deliver the same—or better—emissions reductions,” Cooper said.

Twenty-five states also filed a challenge in the court. Twenty-two other states have filed to intervene to defend EPA’s rule, which the agency says would result in a 49% emissions reduction by 2022 compared to 2026 levels.

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