The Future of the Industry? Trucking Emissions Rules Go to Court


Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Multiple states are taking legal action against the Environmental Protection Agency and California over recent emissions rules. The states are led by Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers and include other state attorney generals (all from the Republican Party).

Regarding the EPA, the states filed with a US Court of Appeals DC circuit court asking to overturn an EPA rule that would limit trucking emissions. These EPA rule

For California, the sixteen states filed a separate lawsuit regarding the Golden State’s plan to eventually transition to a fully electric-based trucking industry within the state, which would mean a ban on the internal combustion engine.

California’s targets, set by an executive order by Governor Gavin Newsom, are currently as follows:

  • Only zero-emissions vehicles can be sold in California by 2035

  • Only zero-emission commercial freight vehicles can be on the road by 2045

California is the 5th largest economy in the world. Not the country. The world. The state has a large population and access to the international ports in cities such as Long Beach.

Any rules and regulations that are set in California will drastically affect other states. This is where the legal argument stems from.

According to the other states, led by Nebraska, California is unfairly dictating to other states what trucks they can use and sell. If gas-powered trucks from other states cannot drive on California’s road, they are prohibited from a large sector of the trucking economy. According to the lawsuit, California does have an ability to regulate emissions, but it overreached by regulating interstate commerce.

According to AG Hilgers, these rules will “will devastate the trucking and logistics industry, raise prices for customers, and impact untold number of jobs across Nebraska and the country.”

Here is the list of states that joined Nebraska in either the EPA petition or California lawsuit: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.