NHTSA is Sneakier Than You Might Think ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: NHTSA is Sneakier Than You Might Think

Thursday, April 24, 2008

NHTSA is Sneakier Than You Might Think

NHTSA LogoCalifornia has requested a waiver to increase fuel economy standards in their state. The EPA denied the request and now California is suing the EPA in an effort to force the administrations hand. This is after losing two recent cases on environmental controls being set by states in Vermont and California.

Then, on Earth Day, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the new fuel economy standards of 31.6 mpg auto makers must meet by 2015 as part of EISA signed into law in December. But the NHTSA just couldn't resist putting in a few items in that proposal that would reinforce their role vs any state role.

"(The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has consistently taken the position that state regulations regulating CO{-2} tailpipe emissions from automobiles are expressly and impliedly preempted."

"A conflict between state and federal law arises when compliance with both federal and state regulations is a physical impossibility or when state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress."

"We respectfully disagree with the two district court rulings" in Fresno and Vermont in which federal judges sided with California and other states.
Source: SFGate

California Attorney General Jerry Brown feels this is a 'covert assault on California's rules', while some environmentalist groups have said this language will be used in the automakers attempts to appeal the rulings in Fresno and Vermont.

But of even greater significance would be a new passage being considered:
The agency said it is considering adding language to its final rule stating that "any state regulation regulating tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles is expressly preempted" under federal law.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, was not quiet on the new proposal by the NHTSA.

"Despite two federal court rulings and Congress' decision to reject the administration's position that enacted energy legislation should preempt the authority of states to regulate greenhouse gas vehicle emissions, the administration has chosen to trot out the same tired old arguments," she said.

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