In February 2022, the Energy Marketers of America (EMA) asked the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) December 2021 final rule that increases the stringency of greenhouse gas emissions for model year 2023-2026 cars and light-duty vehicles by significant percentages. The Biden EPA is ostensibly using EPA’s tailpipe emissions standards to phase out internal-combustion engine vehicles in exchange for electric vehicles. EPA estimates that its rule for the four model years will reduce fuel demand by 361 billion gallons.
EMA joins the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, 15 States (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah), and other groups in opposing the EPA rule.
A key issue in the challenges is the “major questions doctrine,” which holds that courts should not defer to agencies on questions of “vast economic or political significance” unless Congress has provided explicit authority to the agencies. The Supreme Court recently used this doctrine to block the Biden administration’s emergency rule requiring employees of large companies either to be vaccinated or masked and tested weekly.
Another key issue in EMA and the other groups’ challenges is EPA’s failure in its final rule to consider the emissions that are emitted in the making and disposing of batteries and other components required by electric vehicles, as well as emissions from generating electricity for charging them. By using “tailpipe only” emissions, EPA assigns 0 g/mile emissions to electric vehicles in its final rule.
The bottom line is that a vehicle’s total emissions should account for its entire life cycle: production and resourcing, lifetime usage, and end-of-life disposal after use. The EV market remains small as most consumers still opt for gasoline powered vehicles when given a choice.