OPINION: The EPA Is At It Again

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Wednesday took serious issue with President Biden’s proposed new vehicle emission rule that would require as many as two-thirds of new vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric by 2032.
 
“This administration is hell bent on destroying America’s energy security and independence by making us dependent on resources and components that can come only from abroad,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The more the EPA pushes manufacturers towards electric vehicles, the more entangled we become with countries like China and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
 
“While America has the resources to power our traditional, fuel-powered vehicles, we simply aren’t ready to jump into mining cobalt and producing the special magnets that would be needed in the next few years.”
 
Just a few months ago, the Attorney General led a multistate coalition in sending a clear message to the D.C. Circuit: the EPA doesn’t have to power to impose an “overbroad, top-down regulatory scheme that tries to force people into electric vehicles while disregarding that mandate’s serious consequences.” 
 
The proposal from Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency released Wednesday indicated a plan to set greenhouse gas emissions limits for the 2027 through 2032 model years for passenger vehicles that would be even stricter than goals the auto industry agreed to in 2021. It calls for an aggressive electric vehicle sales push.
 
Attorney General Morrisey said the items in the proposed new rule “are enormously problematic.”
 
“The Biden administration’s woke agenda is also placing more strain and demand on our nation’s electrical energy grids at the same time that it has taken dramatic measures to weaken them,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Its continued war on coal ensures that the grid won’t have the baseload capacity to take on even more demand from electric vehicles, particularly in the off-hours that people charge these cars. Yet agencies like the EPA continue to ignore the production and distribution challenges that lie ahead if proposals like this are adopted.”
 
There are other problems beyond these—for example, the EPA likely doesn’t have the statutory authority to do what it proposes to do, and the whole exercise may run afoul of the major-questions doctrine recognized in West Virginia v. EPA.
 
“Again, the EPA, an agency comprised of unelected bureaucrats, is attempting to circumvent Congress,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The Supreme Court clearly stated EPA must regulate within the express boundaries of the statute that Congress passed.”
 
The West Virginia v. EPA ruling in 2022 marked the most consequential development in environmental law since Attorney General Morrisey won a historic and unprecedented stay of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan at the Supreme Court in February 2016. West Virginia v. EPA also proves to be of high importance as far as administrative law is concerned.
 
“Over the coming weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at the proposed rule, and we’ll be ready to once again lead the charge against wrongheaded energy proposals like these,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “America’s drivers and West Virginians deserve better.”

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