The Clean Air Act of 2007 gave the Environmental Protection Agency the right to regulate tailpipe emissions due to their dangers to public health. The law also gave states like California the right to set their own emissions policies; a move that could force automakers to meet several different standards in the U.S. alone. That led the federal government to essentially adopt California's standard, resulting in a mandate of 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016.
The Detroit News reports that Fred Upton, R-MI and Ed Whitfield, R-KY have sponsored a bill in the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would overturn the Clean Air Act. The proposed measure would remove emissions regulations authority from the EPA and individual states, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration instead having sole authority to set corporate average fuel economy standards. "We feel it is not right that California should be dictating standards for the rest of the country," said Whitfield.
The move may be well-received by automakers, since the current regulations in place will cost OEMs billions of dollars. In fact, experts claim the stiff regulations currently on the books will cost automakers up to $52 billion over the next five years. That's a lot of cabbage, but the Obama Administration claims fuel economy improvements will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and save car owners up to $3,000 over the life of the vehicle.
The sponsored bill has been given the go-ahead by the Energy and Power subcommittee, and The Detroit News claims house Republicans plan to fast-track the bill through Congress.
[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Clinton Steeds – C.C. 2.0]