The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

EPA's Car Rule Triggers New GHG Regulations

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 1, 2010

Today the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly issued the so-called "Car Rule." The rule orders vehicle manufacturers to raise efficiency standards to 34.1 miles per gallon for the combined industry-wide fleet for the 2016 model year.

Today's action marks the beginning of EPA's regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. In response to the Car Rule, API issued the following statement:

"Improving vehicle efficiency makes sense. It's a vital part of energy conservation. However, EPA joining DOT in this rule sets the nation on the disastrous course of Clean Air Act regulation of stationary source greenhouse gas emissions. The states aren't prepared for this, the path of implementation is unclear, and the costs and delays will likely prove severe. The result could be a paralyzing slowdown in business expansion and job creation at a time when millions of Americans are still struggling to find work. The proposed delay in enforcement until 2011 will do nothing to reduce the devastating impacts of this rule.

The rule is not just about vehicle efficiency. It's about EPA overreaching to create an opportunity for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from virtually every firm and business in America, no matter how unwieldy, intrusive and burdensome such regulation might be. The Department of Transportation, which has been the agency issuing vehicle fuel economy standards, could have proceeded without EPA. EPA's imposition of greenhouse gas emission standards duplicates DOT's fuel economy standards, without achieving any significant environmental benefit.

This action is all the more extraordinary given that EPA had once labeled such an approach to triggering stationary source regulation as "absurd," "impossible," and "contrary" to expressed congressional intent.

The Clean Air Act was intended to control traditional pollutants, not greenhouse gas emissions that come from every vehicle, home, factory and farm in America."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.