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Federal court strikes down Biden administration rule put in place to regulate state's transportation — here's what it would have done

In light of the ruling, the agency is determining its next steps.

In light of the ruling, the agency is determining its next steps.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

A federal court struck down a Biden administration rule that would have required cities and states to set carbon pollution reduction targets for transportation, The Hill reported.

What happened?

In March 2024, a federal judge ruled in favor of a group of states that had sued the Biden administration for a rule that would have required states and cities to measure transportation-related pollution and develop reduction targets. 

The rule would also have required these entities to report on their progress, and it would have set up a national framework to measure and report transportation-related pollution. 

In light of the ruling, a spokesperson for the Transportation Department's highway administration said the agency was determining its next steps, per The Hill.

Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans cheered the news. Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) said in a joint statement, "This was a clear case of blatant overreach by the Biden Administration from the beginning, and we commend the court for its ruling."

Why is the ruling important?

Transportation in the U.S. is responsible for more planet-warming pollution than any other sector, accounting for more than a third of all pollution, according to the Department of Transportation. 

Delaying action on pro-climate initiatives like this rule endangers communities, as our changing climate supercharges natural disasters, making them more frequent and powerful. 

We're already seeing the devastating effects of a warming world. For instance, experts warned that droughts caused by El Niño and an overheating planet could endanger our food supply. Meanwhile, warmer-than-average temperatures led to deadly heat waves in the U.S. during the summer of 2023 and an outbreak of fires in the Amazon region in early 2024.

What is being done about our overheating planet?

Across the world, people are coming together to reduce planet-warming pollution. For instance, Scotland is turning many urban neighborhoods into "20-minute cities," so residents have access to public transit. Meanwhile, Tokyo is requiring most new buildings to have solar panels, and Los Angeles outlawed gas power in all newly constructed buildings.

You can help by voting for pro-climate candidates or advocating for change in the workplace. You can also make small changes like opting for public transportation or riding your bike more instead of driving your car.

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