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Ohio Joins Oil Companies in Supreme Court Challenge Against California’s Emission Limits

In a major legal challenge, the state of Ohio, alongside major oil companies and business groups, is challenging California’s authority to set stricter greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles. This move, petitioned to the U.S. Supreme Court, seeks to overturn decisions that underpin California’s ambitious environmental regulations.

Ohio and plaintiffs, including Valero’s Diamond Alternative Energy, argue that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should not have the power to grant California waivers under the Clean Air Act, allowing the state to impose emission limits that exceed federal standards. They claim that California’s unique power undermines uniform national standards and requires Supreme Court intervention for clarification.

“The Golden State is not the golden child,” the Ohio plaintiffs wrote in their petition. “Yet in the Clean Air Act, Congress elevated California above all other states by giving it the power to pass certain environmental laws.”

California has been the only state with the authority to request EPA waivers since the late 1960s due to its severe air quality issues and the high number of vehicles. For the past two decades, the state has leveraged these waivers to implement stringent vehicle emission standards, tackling climate change aggressively. These standards account for about a quarter of California’s climate-warming emissions.

The EPA granted the waiver at the heart of this case back in 2013 during President Barack Obama’s administration. However, it was revoked under President Donald Trump in 2019 and reinstated by President Joe Biden in 2021. The plaintiffs now seek a definitive ruling from the Supreme Court on whether the EPA has the authority to grant California such waivers to address global climate change.

As the nation watches, this legal battle puts California’s long-standing role as a leader in environmental regulation under scrutiny. The outcome could reshape the balance of power between state and federal environmental policies, impacting how the U.S. tackles climate change in the automotive sector.

In an era when climate change initiatives are critical, the Supreme Court’s decision could have far-reaching implications, not just for California but for the nation’s environmental future.

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Daniel Russo
Daniel Russo
Daniel Russo is a contributing writer for CBT News. A lifetime automotive and motorsports enthusiast, Danny combines a passion for the automotive industry with a knack for creating meaningful content. He is savvy in the latest automotive industry trends and has expertise in all aspects of digital marketing. Originally from California, Danny now calls beautiful Northern Colorado home.

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