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In a Victory for AG Yost and 20 Colleagues, Court Rules That Emissions Rule Constitutes Federal Overreach


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — A federal judge in Kentucky has declared the Federal Highway Administration’s Emissions Rule unlawful, agreeing with Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and 20 of his counterparts that the restrictions both exceed the authority Congress granted the Agency and encroach on the authority of the states.

The Emissions Rule, an attempt by the Federal Highway Administration to use its authority over road safety to regulate tailpipe carbon-dioxide emissions, seeks to progressively lower CO2 emissions with a long-term goal of “net-zero" emissions across the U.S. economy by 2050.

“It is my duty to defend the constitutional balance of power and ensure that the voices of Ohioans are not silenced by federal overreach,” Yost said. “The Emissions Rule is just one of many attempts by the Biden administration to circumvent the legislative process and limit states’ power.”

In a Feb. 9 motion for summary judgment, the attorneys general argued that the rule exceeds the Executive Branch’s authority and violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the process by which federal agencies develop and issue regulations.

In his ruling yesterday, Judge Benjamin Beaton of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky agreed.

“A tailpipe-emissions reduction forced on states under the guise of highway planning is just another example of a regulatory elephant squeezed into a statutory mousehole,” the judge wrote. “The court declares that the rule exceeds the Federal Highway Administration’s statutory authority and is arbitrary and capricious.”

Joining Yost in successfully challenging the rule were the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Hannah Hundley: 614-906-9113


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