Planet Gore

EPA’s Illegal MPG

The Obama administration’s new 54.5 mpg fuel mileage mandate is at odds with the American consumer, threatens vehicle safety, and burdens an industry trying to emerge from recession.

And it is illegal.

In its zeal to fight global warming, Lisa Jackson’s EPA has executed a breathtaking power grab by changing CAFE without congressional authorization. Drafted by Congress in 1975, CAFE authorized NHTSA to administer the law.

Using a controversial 2007 Supreme Court ruling granting EPA the authority to regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act, President Obama is making end-runs around the people’s representatives in his rush to transform America to a Green utopia. Congress re-authorized CAFE in 2007 (to 35 mpg by 2020), but then Obama stealthily granted EPA co-administrative authority with NHTSA in speeding up the 2020 standards (to 2015) upon taking office in 2009.

Now with its 54.5 mpg-by-2025 diktat, EPA has discarded Congress altogether. It has drafted a number without any congressional oversight — and forced it down the throats of U.S. automakers. Rushing adoption of the standard while two of the government-funded Detroit Three feel compelled to stay quiet, EPA’s power grab is a first step in solidifying the agency’s power over all economic activity in the country.

This prospect has enraged House Republicans who have drafted an amendment stripping EPA of the funds to implement CAFE.

The charge has been led by Republicans John Carter of Texas and co-sponsor Steve Austria of Ohio. Carter’s state is home to Toyota’s new Tundra truck and one of four of his constituents choose pickups. The edict, says Carter, would have the effect of “taking the American pickup off the road.”

He is also an ex-Texas judge and knows a violation of the law when he sees one.

“The EPA is saying ‘we don’t care what the law says,’” Carter’s Communications Secretary John Stone tells The Michigan “We’re going to bypass congressional oversight,” is how Stone characterized the EPA’s attitude.

Read more at The Michigan here.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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