NACS Joins Petition to Supreme Court Over EPA California Waiver

The petition argues the California waiver is unlawful.

July 03, 2024

NACS, along with its co-litigants, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to hear the appeal of a case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) grant of a waiver to California to implement an EV mandate.

In 2022, the EPA granted California a waiver to set its own emission standards and to adopt a zero-emission-vehicle mandate. Many states have followed California’s lead, adopting those same standards.

Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives, said, “EPA should not have made California’s vehicle technology mandate a standard across much of the nation. We need innovations to improve all vehicle technologies to fight climate change. Unless the Supreme Court intervenes, this rule will stop a great deal of internal combustion engine innovation in its tracks. The Court should take this case and restore sanity to our system of regulating vehicle emissions.”

Fuel producers challenged EPA’s waiver as contrary to the text of Section 209(b), but the D.C. Circuit rejected the challenge without reaching the merits, concluding that fuel producers’ injuries were not redressable because they had not established that vacating EPA’s waiver would have any effect on automakers.

The questions presented in the petition are:

  • Whether a party may establish the redressability component of Article III standing by relying on the coercive and predictable effects of regulation on third parties.
  • Whether EPA’s preemption waiver for California’s greenhouse-gas emission standards and zero-emission-vehicle mandate is unlawful.

Separately, last month NACS filed petitions with a coalition of energy and fuel producers, energy marketers and retailers and consumer groups with the D.C. Circuit Court to sue the EPA over its regulation that will effectively ban most new gas cars and trucks in less than eight years, as well as the EPA’s regulations that will create mandates for the sale of electric trucks.

The two petitions filed are challenging EPA’s light-, medium-duty vehicle and heavy-duty vehicle standards for model years 2027-2032.