Trump-appointed judge struck down Biden administration's new highway emissions rule

 April 4, 2024

A federal judge ruled against President Joe Biden's greenhouse gas emissions standards Monday, the Daily Caller reported. Some believe the new standards were an effort to push Americans toward electric vehicles. 

The Federal Highway Administration had attempted to limit emissions on America's highways while remaining vague about the exact requirements. The rules were finalized just before the 2023 holiday season.

Twenty-one states objected to the standards and sued the administration. Judge Benjamin Beaton, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, ruled that the administration used its "authority in an arbitrary and capricious manner," his opinion stated.

Following the ruling, the administration said it would "remain committed" to "cutting carbon pollution in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050" as proposed by Biden. "We are reviewing the court’s decision and determining next steps."

Objections to the Rule

Many of the states that objected to the regulations are worried about their rural citizens for whom these restrictions would be difficult. GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota decried that it was nothing more than a ploy to get more Americans to ditch their gas-powered vehicles for electric vehicles.

Cramer called the switch to electric vehicles "fundamentally unworkable" for rural areas. Republican Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman similarly objected to the rules on the basis of their impact on those who live in more far-flung areas.

"President Biden’s radical environmental agenda has lost touch with reality, and Kentucky families, farmers, and workers are paying the price. Like all Americans, Kentuckians love our trucks, cars, and vans," Coleman said after the judge's ruling.

"With this victory in court, we’re slamming the brakes on the Biden Administration’s politics that make no sense in the Commonwealth," he added. The judge also said the administration diregarded the needs and abilities of individul states, according to Fox News.

"If the Administrator were allowed to shove national greenhouse-gas policy into the mouths of uncooperative state Departments of Transportation, this would corrupt the separation of sovereigns central to our lasting and vibrant system of federalism. Neither the Constitution nor the Administrative Procedure Act authorizes administrative ventriloquism," Beaton wrote.

Biden's War on Autos

Although Biden's highway emissions rule failed to pass this legal challenge, it's clear that the administration is intent on changing the way Americans live and drive. If it continues, it poses many problems including a higher price tag.

A report by the New York Post revealed that the North American Auto Dealers Association projected that the five-year cost incurred to own an electric vehicle is over $92,000 compared to $72,000 for traditional vehicles. Other problems include range and reliability.

Electric vehicles don't go as far per fueling and take more time to charge using the current infrastructure in place. U.S. News said that the level 2 chargers available in most places take time and are only "fine if you have time to kill."

Despite the promise of a greener future, any environmental advantages electric vehicles supposedly have are negated by the mineral mining required to make them. Without clear advantages for the environment and so many disadvantages, it's easy to see why Americans aren't convinced.

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