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RFA, NFU File Lawsuit Challenging EPA’s Unlawful Vehicle Emissions Standards

June 18, 2024

EPA, Judicial


The Renewable Fuels Association and National Farmers Union filed a lawsuit Monday in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently finalized light- and medium-duty vehicle emissions standards.


RFA and NFU filed the suit because EPA clearly lacked the authority to adopt the regulation, which essentially mandates the production of battery electric vehicles while, at the same time, ignoring other technologies—like low-carbon ethanol and flex fuel vehicles—that reduce emissions from light- and medium-duty transportation.


“EPA grossly exceeded its statutory authority by finalizing regulations that effectively mandate the production of EVs, while blatantly excluding the ability of flex fuel vehicles and low-carbon, high-octane renewable fuels like ethanol to achieve significant vehicle emissions reductions,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “By relying on the false premise that battery electric vehicles have ‘zero emissions’ and no impact on the climate, the regulation essentially forces automakers to swiftly ramp up the production of EVs and phase out liquid-fueled vehicles that could actually deliver the same—or better—emissions reductions. America’s ethanol producers and farmers would be severely injured if EPA’s regulation were allowed to stand.”


“We are disappointed that the EPA has missed a critical opportunity to recognize the significant benefits of higher-level ethanol blends in its recent regulation,” said Rob Larew, President, National Farmers Union.  "By focusing solely on battery electric vehicles, the EPA overlooks the proven advantages of ethanol, which include reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and increasing octane. This decision not only undermines efforts to reduce emissions but also harms America’s farmers. Ethanol is a readily available, cost-effective solution that can make an immediate impact in our fight against climate change.”


RFA and NFU filed the lawsuit separately from other challenges to ensure that ethanol producers and farmers have a strong and independent voice in the proceedings, as the EPA regulation presents numerous issues and challenges unique to the ethanol industry and the farmers who grow renewable fuel feedstocks.