Federal Judge Delivers Smackdown to Biden Climate Mandate For Gas Powered Vehicles

In a significant legal victory for Kentucky and 21 other states, a federal district court has struck down the Biden administration’s climate rule that mandated states to monitor and establish goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from highway vehicles.

The ruling, issued by Judge Benjamin Beaton of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, orders the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to halt the implementation of the regulations, which were finalized in November.

Kentucky’s Attorney General, Republican Russell Coleman, celebrated the court’s decision, stating, “President Biden’s radical environmental agenda has lost touch with reality, and Kentucky families, farmers and workers are paying the price. Like all Americans, Kentuckians love our trucks, cars and vans. With this victory in court, we’re slamming the brakes on the Biden administration’s politics that make no sense in the commonwealth.”

The lawsuit, filed by Kentucky in December, argued that the FHWA overstepped its legal authority by attempting to compel states to implement federal regulations on vehicle emissions.

Judge Beaton concurred, ruling that the regulations exceed the FHWA’s statutory authority and are “arbitrary and capricious.”

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Rather than granting a preliminary injunction, which would have temporarily blocked the rule during litigation, the judge granted the plaintiff states’ motion for summary judgment, effectively vacating the rule immediately.

In his ruling, Judge Beaton emphasized the importance of maintaining the separation of powers between the federal government and the states, writing, “If the Administrator were allowed to shove national greenhouse-gas policy into the mouths of uncooperative state Departments of Transportation, this would corrupt the separation of sovereigns central to our lasting and vibrant system of federalism. Neither the Constitution nor the Administrative Procedure Act authorizes administrative ventriloquism.”

The FHWA had previously stated that the regulations, finalized on Nov. 22, aligned with President Biden’s “whole-of-government approach” to reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg asserted that the rules provided states with flexibility in setting their own climate targets.

However, the 22 states challenging the action, along with industry groups like the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, contended that the regulations restricted state efforts and forced them to conform to federal mandates.

This ruling follows a similar decision by a federal court in Texas, which also struck down the regulations in a case where Texas was the sole plaintiff.

An FHWA spokesperson told Fox News Digital, “The Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration remain committed to supporting the Biden-Harris administration’s climate goals of cutting carbon pollution in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. We are reviewing the court’s decision and determining next steps.”

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The court’s decision represents a significant setback for the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change through federal regulations, and it illustrates the ongoing tension between states’ rights and the federal government’s authority to implement environmental policies.