Federal judge dunks Biden ruling targeting gas powered cars

PADUCAH, KY – Gasoline powered vehicles in Kansas and other states traveling fuel excise tax-funded national highways are safe from Biden Administration environmental rules – at least for now.

A federal judge in Kentucky on Tuesday threw out a Federal Highways Administration ruling from December  which would have required states to measure greenhouse gas emissions along federal highways traversing their states, set targets to reduce those emissions and report them to the federal government. The measure was opposed by 21 states sttorneys general, including Kansas Attorney General Chris Kobach.The federal judge ruled the U.S. Government did not have the authority to enforce such measures and standards on the states.

“President Biden’s administration is constantly exceeding its authority, Kobach said in a statement. “Once again, Republican attorneys general have stepped in to prevail over the Biden bureaucracy.”

Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman led the coalition in the FHWA suit. In addition to Kobach, attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming also joined the coalition.

Ruling from the U.S. Courthouse in Paducah, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Beaton, who was appointed by President Trump, cautioned that allowing the federal government to force national greenhouse gas policy on the state Departments of Transportation would “corrupt the separation of sovereigns central to our lasting and vibrant system of federalism.” 

Beaton however stopped short of vacating the federal order, noting that a federal judge in Texas had already struck it down before the Kentucky case was considered.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.

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