Biden, Buttigieg Get Smacked Down by Federal Judge Over Highway Climate Rule

U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix, appointed by former President Trump, just struck down a Biden administration highway climate rule.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), part of the Department of Transportation (DOT), had implemented the rule in December 2023, requiring states to track and report greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles using the U.S. highway system.

Additionally, the rule mandated that states set and work towards reducing carbon dioxide targets.

Texas, led by Attorney General Ken Paxton, challenged the DOT’s authority to enact such a rule, arguing that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act and improperly restricted the use of federal funds.

Judge Hendrix ultimately sided with Texas, deeming the rule “unauthorized.”

When the rule was initially introduced, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated, “the rule will provide states with a clear and consistent framework to track carbon pollution and the flexibility to set their own climate targets.”

However, Paxton’s office countered that the DOT lacked the statutory authority to implement the rule.

This ruling comes amidst another climate-related lawsuit filed by Texas and 15 other Republican states against the Biden administration.

The states are challenging the Department of Energy (DOE)’s decision to pause major liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal projects.

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Paxton criticized the move, asserting that “Biden’s unilateral decree disregards statutory mandates, flouts the legal process, upends the oil and gas industry, disrupts the Texas economy, and subverts our constitutional structure.”