Author: Ted Hadzi-Antich
Pacific Legal Foundation has called on the Obama Administration to halt its illegal rush to implement greenhouse emissions rules for heavy duty and medium duty vehicles. The proposed standards should be submitted for independent scientific scrutiny, as required by law, and comply with mandated procedures set forth in the Clean Air Act, PLF told the administration today.
PLF’s statement came in formal comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Those agencies have jointly proposed the first-ever federal rules to establish greenhouse gas emissions standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles — such as trucks, tractor-trailers and RVs. The agencies are conducting a formal rulemaking process with a period for the submission of public comments through today.
PLF’s comments emphasize that the agencies are getting way ahead of themselves. Federal law requires that the proposed rules must first be submitted for independent scrutiny to EPA's blue-ribbon panel of experts, the Scientific Advisory Board — something that has not been done. Moreover, in trying to implement the Clean Air Act, EPA itself is violating the Act by refusing to comply with the procedures Congress put in place for promulgating these types of regulations. EPA is not above the law and must follow it, just like the rest us.
These proposed regulations would bring unprecedented new federal intrusion into the manufacturing process for and use of medium and heavy-duty vehicles. Not only could the rules have a devastating impact on interstate commerce by adding many thousands of dollars to the costs of new vehicles, they are being rushed through by EPA as part of EPA’s plan to put in place comprehensive controls on carbon dioxide emissions as quickly as possible.
In the process, EPA is ignoring legal requirements put in place by Congress to ensure that EPA’s rules are sound, necessary, and appropriate. The law, as well as the integrity of the regulatory process, demands that the Science Advisory Board be given the opportunity to review these regulatory proposals and that the procedural safeguards embedded in the Clean Air Act be respected, before any regulations are finalized.
Let's hope EPA gets the message.