TRALA points out in its brief that the EPA exceeded its statutory authority.  -  Photo: Work Truck

TRALA points out in its brief that the EPA exceeded its statutory authority.

Photo: Work Truck

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 (EPA) 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 December 30, 2021.

Of top concern? The Brief notes the "EPA readily admitted that it was focusing only on 'private vehicle ownership and use.' " The main points made in the brief include: 

  1. EPA lacks statutory authority to promulgate the Electric Vehicle Requirement.
  2. The Electric Vehicle Requirement is arbitrary and capricious. 

TRALA's Argument Against the EPA

According to a release from TRALA, all of EPA’s previous greenhouse gas rules under Section 202 had been promulgated jointly with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) 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, so it could avoid the express statutory prohibition on NHTSA from considering electric vehicles, (42 U.S.C. § 32902(h)).  

The EPA came up with its own interpretation of why it could do this and moved forward by setting extremely stringent standards and effectively eliminating all viable compliance options but one—electrification.  This is essentially a de-facto electric vehicle mandate. The EPA estimates the price tag to be between $180 to $300 billion, making this the most expensive regulatory change in U.S. history. 

Is the Future of Vehicle Propulsion Certain? We Think Not. READ MORE! 

TRALA points out in its brief that the EPA exceeded its statutory authority. Under the major questions doctrine, when a rule implicates issues of vast 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.

The brief called "the Electric Vehicle Requirement is arbitrary and capricious," adding " EPA also ignored the effect of electrification on ordinary Americans’ ability to make a living in an area that best suits their needs and values and the rental and leasing industry."  It concludes clearly, stating that, "For these reasons, the court should grant the petitions for review and hold the Electric Vehicle Requirement unlawful and void." 

View a copy of TRALA’s amicus brief here.

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