No auto industry groups or companies have challenged EPA’s Vehicle Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions rule for the 2017-2025 model years, which requires that vehicle fleets achieve a 54.5 mile-per-gallon average by 2025. A few challenges to the rule were filed by petroleum, manufacturing and other groups.
The EPA GHG rule for vehicle model years 2017-2025 was finalized in the October 15, 2012 Federal Register. The resulting deadline for filing suit to challenge the rule was December 14, 2012. By that date, lawsuits were filed by the American Petroleum Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Oilseed Producers Association (a jointly filed lawsuit on the last day), the Utility Air Regulatory Group (December 13) and Plant Oil Powered Diesel Fuel Systems, Inc. (October 23), in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The D.C. Circuit has consolidated the cases. States including California and New York have filed a motion to intervene in the cases in defense of the rule.
While the extent of the substantive challenges to the rule is not clear, based on comments to the rule, the challenges may address incentives for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles; EPA’s decision not to calculate upstream GHG emissions generated by the electricity powering electric vehicles; the allegedly “invalid” finding that GHGs endanger human health and the environment (although that finding was upheld by a panel of the D.C. Circuit in 2012); and the use of the GHG vehicle rules to trigger GHG requirements at stationary sources (a theory that was raised in the unsuccessful in the challenge to the stationary source GHG rule in 2012).