Home>Legal>Petersen, Toma Expand Legal Battles Against Biden EPA Mandates
State Senate President Warren Petersen and Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Ben Toma speaking with attendees at the 2024 Legislative Forecast Luncheon hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
State Senate President Warren Petersen and Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Ben Toma speaking with attendees at the 2024 Legislative Forecast Luncheon hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Petersen, Toma Expand Legal Battles Against Biden EPA Mandates

Enjoin three more lawsuits aimed at defeating untenable environmental measures

By Steve Kirwan, May 17, 2024 1:52 pm

On March 25, 2024, the Arizona Globe reported on a lawsuit filed by Senate Majority Leader Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma in conjunction with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry leaders to fight what they describe as “a dangerous new air quality rule” that sets “unattainable environmental goals.” On May 15, 2024, Petersen announced that Arizona had enjoined three additional suits to block such federal overreach.

According to a press release issued by the Arizona Senate this past Monday, Petersen joined Toma and the Arizona Trucking Association to file two DC Court of Appeals cases to stop prevent implementation of rules recently adopted by the EPA as part of Biden’s so-called “green agenda,” which would mandate a hasty transition from gas to electric-powered vehicles. Expert analysis of the regulations has determined that the abrupt transformation of the trucking and automotive industries would cost billions of dollars to implement and would likely damage hundreds, if not thousands, of small and mid-sized businesses. Among the most drastically hurt would be independent truckers and logistics companies. Additionally, it could cause significant cost increases and result in drastic economic downturns for large companies such as Amazon and Walmart, which rely extensively on logistical services.

The rules would mandate that nearly 70% of all new vehicles and 25% of all new semi-trucks and similar heavy-duty vehicles sold in the US be electric by 2032, only seven years away. Despite the dismal demand for such vehicles, there is a dearth of infrastructure necessary to support that number of electric vehicles. Petersen and Toma are attempting to protect Arizonans from the devastating economic impact of the mandate.

The Arizona Legislature also joined 16 other states in a separate lawsuit filed Monday against the State of California to stop its new rule requiring trucking operators to cease using diesel vehicles in favor of expensive and unsustainable electric vehicles. These new heavy-duty vehicles carry baseline prices well into the $100K range and would require any Arizona company operating in California to comply. The impact on supply chain costs would be devastating to Arizona companies and, by extension, their employees and customers.

“These rules exceed the EPA’s statutory authority, are arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion,” stated Senate President Warren Petersen. “In the absence of our Attorney General holding the Biden Administration accountable, the Legislature will gladly protect our citizens from this egregious abuse of power.”

Senator Frank Carrol, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation, Technology & Missing Children, stated, “The climate change agenda from Democrats imposes expensive and unattainable goals on the automotive and trucking industries, which will undoubtedly lead to soaring consumer prices. We don’t have the infrastructure to power these vehicles, and the average working-class citizen or trucking business can’t afford to purchase them.”

Tony Bradley, President & CEO of the Arizona Trucking Association, echoed the senators’ concerns. He said, “The EPA’s tailpipe emissions rules prioritize politics over science, posing a greater threat to public health by inflating the cost of essential and everyday goods. He touted the trucking industry’s already remarkable progress by voluntarily reducing emissions by 98.5%.

He continued, “Yet, the EPA’s impractical mandates, targeting a mere 1.5% of remaining emissions, burden us with unrealistic expectations and exorbitant costs. We proudly join the Arizona Legislature in challenging these detrimental regulations.”

You can read the original press release here.

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