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Kentucky AG leads suit challenging Biden rule on MPG standards

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(The Center Square) – Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman wants to block a new Biden Administration rule that would require automakers to drastically increase the fuel efficiency in their passenger vehicles and light trucks.

It’s a move Coleman claims is meant to encourage the sale of electric vehicles and force consumers to pay more for their next car.

Coleman, along with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and their counterparts from 24 other states, penned a challenge to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s final rule for fuel economy standards for vehicles between 2027 and 2031. By the end of that period, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy will be required to be at 50.4 miles per gallon.

The current federal standard is 39.4.

A former U.S. Attorney, Coleman said President Biden has invested billions of taxpayer dollars to promote electric vehicles that are being ignored by the public. Of all the cars and trucks registered in Kentucky, less than 1% are electric-powered.

“Kentuckians want the Biden Administration to focus on the crisis at the border, violent crime and the surge of deadly drugs instead of picking its favorites in the auto industry,” he said.

Coleman’s challenge, which was filed with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, has the backing of state legislative leaders. Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said the Republican attorney general’s filing was a “right step” to protect the country’s energy independence and economy.

Earlier this year, the GOP-led General Assembly passed the Electric Reliability Defense Fund, which ensured Coleman’s office has the resources to pursue such challenges.

“This fund is one of many examples of the legislature’s commitment to preventing federal regulations from undermining Kentucky’s energy independence and driving up costs for families amid persistent inflation,” Stivers said.

While Kentucky and other states challenge the new federal rule, they’re also positioning themselves to be ready for an expansion of the electric vehicle market. In recent years, the Bluegrass State has been picked by such companies as BlueOval SK, Envision AESC and others that are investing billions of dollars to build battery plants or facilities that support the development of the cells that will power the next generation of electric vehicles.

It is uncertain when the Sixth Circuit will issue a ruling on the challenge.

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