Texas Judge Strikes Down Biden’s Highway Climate Rule as ‘Unauthorized’

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On Wednesday, a U.S. court ruled against Biden’s administration on a rule governing highway climate.

Federal Highway Administration of the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued this rule in December 2023. The rule requires that states measure and report greenhouse gas emissions for all vehicles on the U.S. Highway System.

In addition, the rule asked that states set targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and report on their progress. Texas then sued the DOT.

U.S. district judge James Wesley Hendrix (a Trump appointee) ruled in Texas’ favor and wrote Wednesday that “the regulation was unauthorized.”

When he issued the rule three months ago, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated, “It will provide states with a consistent and clear framework to track their carbon pollution as well as the flexibility to set up their own climate goals.”

In a statement issued in December, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued the DOT did not “have the statutory authority” to implement such a rule and that the mandate violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

“Further the rule is arbitrary, capricious, and violates the spending clause by impermissibly limiting the use of federal funding by requiring TxDOT to implement the greenhouse-gas measure.”

In a separate suit, Texas also sued the Biden Administration for a climate-related issue. A group of 16 Republican states filed a lawsuit last week against the Department of Energy’s (DOE) halting of major LNG export terminal projects.

Paxton stated on March 21st, “Biden’s unilateral decree disregards statutes, flouts legal processes, upends oil and gas industries, disrupts Texas economy, and subverts constitutional structure.”