U.S. Court of Appeals Supports EPA Decision Allowing California to Create Its Own EV Regulations

A U.S. appeals court has supported the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its decision to grant California a waiver allowing it to establish its own electric vehicle (EV) adoption and tailpipe emissions regulations. The move, which took place during President Joe Biden’s administration, overturned a 2019 decision made by the Trump administration. Republicans who opposed the decision argued that the rules provided California with unconstitutional regulatory authority not available to other states. Since then, several other states, including Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, and New York, have also begun to follow suit.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB), responsible for the gas car sales ban, imposed annually increasing mandates to phase out the sale of combustion engines, set to commence in 2026. Additionally, in 2022, CARB requested that the EPA approve another waiver for the Clean Air Act for the forthcoming phase-out. As per the old rules, automakers would have been required to make over 60 percent of their sales electric or plug-in hybrids by 2030, and 68 percent by 2032. However, the new rules now mandate that automakers make 50 percent of their sales electric or plug-in hybrids by 2030.

The decision has sparked differing opinions regarding the impact and validity of the new regulations, with implications for automakers, environmental concerns, and governmental authority.

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