Red states go to court over Biden fuel efficiency standards

By Lesley Clark | 06/27/2024 06:30 AM EDT

The lawsuit targets a rule the administration had already walked back due to automakers’ concerns. The oil industry and environmental groups are also suing.

A federal court today struck down the Trump administration's efforts to slash penalties for automakers that fall short of the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards.

Republican attorneys general are taking aim at the Biden administration's corporate average fuel economy standards. Highways England/Flickr

Twenty-six Republican state attorneys general are challenging a new federal fuel economy rule, claiming that the Biden administration is seeking to drive gas-powered vehicles off the road.

Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia and Russell Coleman of Kentucky led the effort, filing a lawsuit Wednesday in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to block the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standards.

The the oil industry and environmental groups have also sued over the NHTSA standard for model year 2027-2032 passenger cars and light-duty trucks. The lawsuits have been filed in three federal courts, ensuring a judicial lottery to determine which bench will hear the case.


Morrisey, Coleman and other Republican attorneys general say they will argue that the NHTSA rule requires auto manufacturers to dramatically increase the average fuel economy of passenger cars and light trucks in less than a decade. And they say the rule forces a transition to electric vehicles while increasing costs for families and undermining the reliability of the electric grid.