Florida and other states fight a Biden administration rule to reduce carbon pollution

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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody joined 20 other states Thursday in challenging a Biden administration rule aimed at reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Paducah, Ky., alleges that federal transportation officials overstepped their authority in the rule, which was published Dec. 7.

In part, the rule requires states to track emissions and set emissions-reduction targets.

Defendants in the case are President Joe Biden, the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the agencies’ leaders.

“With the final rule, the agencies are forcing states to implement the president’s controversial climate change policy by requiring them to ‘establish declining targets for reducing CO2 emissions generated by on-road mobile sources . . . (and) report on their progress,’” the lawsuit said. “In effect, the agencies are attempting to compel the states to be foot soldiers in service to President Biden’s climate change agenda, notwithstanding their own sovereign interests and policies, and Congress’s express enactment.”

But in a new release last month, federal officials said states would have the flexibility to set targets for reducing emissions.

“Every state has its own unique climate challenges, and every state ought to have the data, funding and flexibility it needs to meet those challenges head on,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a prepared statement. “This new performance measure will provide states with a clear and consistent framework to track carbon pollution and the flexibility to set their own climate targets — which we will also help them meet with more than $27 billion in federal funding through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.”

The other states that signed onto the lawsuit were Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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