CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia’s attorney general is one of several supporting a lawsuit to stop a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that would sharply decrease allowable carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for new vehicles starting in 2023.

The rule at the center of the lawsuit is “Revised 2023 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards.” It would require cars’ carbon dioxide emissions to be cut by 49 g/mile by 2026 and for light trucks’ CO2 emissions to be cut by 74 g/mile.

Carbon dioxide emissions have already been trending downward under the previous SAFE FRM, but a figure included in the rule shows that the new requirements would cause them to decrease at a much faster rate.

Figure 1. The industry fleet-wide estimates in Table 1 are projections based on EPA’s modeling, taking into consideration projected fleet mix and footprints for each manufacturer’s fleet in each model year. Credit: Federal Register.

The final rule also includes steeper cuts to allowable emissions than the proposal did.

According to the rule, the EPA estimates that the average per-vehicle cost to meet the standards to be $330 for vehicles in model year 2023 and climb each year to $1,000 in model year 2026.

The rule only includes estimates for the program’s impacts on emissions through 2050. That estimate is 3.1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions, which the EPA said is 50% greater emissions reductions than EPA’s proposed standards.

A press release from West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office called the rule a “regulatory scheme that tries to force people into electric vehicles while disregarding that mandate’s serious consequences.”

Morrisey said those consequences include increased dependency on foreign nations, including China, for the supplies and materials that are required to build electric vehicles.

Another concern that the attorneys general raised in their amicus brief is that additional electric vehicles will strain the nation’s “already vulnerable power grids.” Click here to read the full letter.

The challenge was filed by Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.