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Biden highway climate rule struck down by Texas judge: ‘Unauthorized’

U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix ruled against a Department of Transportation rule requiring states to report and measure greenhouse gas emissions from highway vehicles

A U.S. judge ruled against the Biden administration in a decision about a highway climate rule on Wednesday.

The rule was issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in December 2023. It requires states to measure and report the greenhouse gas emissions from any vehicles using the U.S. highway system.

The rule also asked states to establish declining carbon dioxide targets, and to report back about progress on those goals. Texas sued the DOT in response.


U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix, a Trump appointee, ruled in favor of Texas and wrote on Wednesday that “the rule was unauthorized.”

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While issuing the rule three months ago, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that it “will provide states with a clear and consistent framework to track carbon pollution and the flexibility to set their own climate targets.”

In a December statement, the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that the DOT “does not have the statutory authority to institute such a rule, and the mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act.”

“Further, the rule is arbitrary and capricious and violates the Spending Clause by impermissibly restricting the use of federal funds by requiring TxDOT to implement the greenhouse gas measure.”

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Texas is also suing the Biden administration over a climate-related reason in a separate lawsuit. Last week, a group of 16 Republican states filed a lawsuit against the Department of Energy (DOE)’s pause of major liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal projects.

“Biden’s unilateral decree disregards statutory mandates, flouts the legal process, upends the oil and gas industry, disrupts the Texas economy, and subverts our constitutional structure,” Paxton said on Mar. 21.

Fox News Digital reached out to the DOT for comment.

Reuters and Fox News Digital’s Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.

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