The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) filed an amicus brief in support of the state of Texas and other petitioners in opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to essentially mandate electric vehicles in the U.S. through its “Revised 2023 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards,” published in the Federal Register on Dec. 30.
All of EPA’s previous greenhouse gas rules under Section 202 had been promulgated jointly with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration because there is a direct and universally acknowledged relationship between vehicular carbon-dioxide emissions and fuel economy. In this case, EPA acted separately for the first time, avoiding the statutory prohibition on NHTSA from considering electric vehicles, (42 U.S.C. § 32902(h)).
TRALA points out in its brief that the EPA exceeded its statutory authority. Under the major questions doctrine, when a rule implicates issues of vas economic or political significance, Congress must have oversight. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled as such in EPA v. West Virginia earlier this year. TRALA also points to the fact that the EPA lacks the expertise in energy infrastructure and innovation with respect to motor vehicles and thus, Congress would not cede its authority to a governmental agency such as the EPA for a rule that impacts the vehicle industry so greatly.
Given the lack of electric infrastructure, the impact to the truck renting and leasing industry -- as well as other vehicle industries -- and the fact that Congress played no part or oversight in the rule itself, TRALA asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court to rule in favor of the state of Texas and other petitioners.