March 2, 2011

Help us stop EPA from acting illegally

By Help us stop EPA from acting illegally

Author:    Ted Hadzi-Antich

Carbon Dioxide is a ubiquitous natural substance.  Humans exhale it, and trees inhale it.  Yet the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), has decided to regulate carbon dioxide because of fears it may contribute to global warming.

EPA and DOT have jointly promulgated the Light Duty Vehicle Regulation (LDVR), which went into effect January 2, 2011, requiring new light duty motor vehicles (that is, cars, minivans and smaller SUVs) to minimize emissions of carbon dioxide while maximizing fuel efficiency. The LDVR was promulgated by EPA and DOT in violation of legal requirements that have been on the books for years and that were intended by Congress to constrain government from running amok.  As written, the illegal LDVR will have a significant adverse impact on the national economy by increasing vehicle costs, decreasing vehicle performance capabilities, and requiring the development of expensive and untested new fuels, thereby injuring automobile manufacturers, petroleum refiners, gasoline distributors, auto parts suppliers, retail automobile dealerships, and consumers. 

Significantly, there is no public safety exception in the LDVR.  Police cars and hospital emergency vehicles require greater engine performance than ordinary light duty vehicles, but the greater performance requirements are at odds with the two avowed objects of the rule: (1) greenhouse gas emission reduction, and (2) increased fuel efficiency.  The nightmare scenarios are obvious.  Police in new cars chasing criminals in old cars may not be able to catch them.  Ambulance drivers trying to get heart attack patients to hospitals may run out of time.

PLF will be challenging the rules through an administrative petition for reconsideration to be filed with EPA, on the ground that EPA failed to comply with procedures mandated by law.  If EPA denies the reconsideration petition, PLF will file a lawsuit challenging the denial in federal court.  We believe our case is strong and are seeking like-minded individuals and organizations to join us in our efforts to roll back the LDVR.  We are especially interested in speaking with automobile dealers, gasoline distributors, police departments, ambulance companies, and hospitals, as well as their trade associations, who may be interested in joining our efforts to derail these illegal rules.  

If interested in discussing your possible participation in this case, please contact me directly at tha@pacificlegal.org.

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