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Corn growers join lawsuit against EPA for emissions mandates

Kevin Bessler

(The Center Square) – Several U.S. oil and corn industry lobby groups are suing the Biden Administration over its plans to slash planet-warming tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks. The coalition argues the regulations will cause economic harm.

The EPA finalized new rules for models of semi-trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles released from 2027 to 2032 in a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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Dave Loos, Illinois Corn Growers Association director of Biofuels, said another requirement that up to 56 percent of all car sales be electric between 2030 and 2032 is unrealistic.

“That’s very, very concerning to us as producers, but it is also concerning for one, we lose these bushels, two, we lose that demand for ethanol, but three, it really takes away options for the consumers,” said Loos.

Loos said the final rule would result in over a billion bushels of corn lost by 2033. Illinois is the second leading state in corn production behind Iowa.

The other states’ corn associations involved in the lawsuit include Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

The EPA’s summary predicts the final rule will cost $870 billion in vehicle technology. The lawsuit argues the rule’s astronomical price tag requires congressional authorization.

Other groups involved in the lawsuit include the National Corn Growers Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).

“EPA’s light duty vehicle rule is unlawful and harmful to consumers, our economy and our national security,” said AFPM CEO Chet Thompson. “We are confident the court will agree that Congress has not authorized the EPA to effectively ban the sale of new gas and diesel cars and overhaul the U.S. economy in such a major way.”

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) believes California’s ban on sales of new gas cars and trucks is the inspiration behind the new EPA policy.

“Thankfully, Congress never empowered either to take vehicle choice away from U.S. consumers, which is why we are challenging EPA’s rule in court,” said WSPA CEO Cathy Reheis-Boyd in a statement.