Amendment seeks to curtail EPA oversight of fuel standards

Yesterday, June 27, the U.S. House appropriations committee may consider an amendment to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency EPA from regulating fuel and emission standards in trucks manufactured after model year 2016.

The full committee is scheduled to meet for markup of its funding bill for the interior, environment and related agencies for the 2013 fiscal year.

U.S. Rep. Steve Austria’s amendment would prevent agency funding from being used to enforce or propose regulations regarding climate change or greenhouse gas emissions in trucks and other motor vehicles manufactured after that year.

In 1975, Congress vested the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with the authority to regulate GHG emissions and fuel efficiency standards, the Ohio Republican said. The NHTSA has retained that power and the amendment, if passed, will help avoid duplication of services.

Also, it would prevent the EPA from moving forward with future rounds of vehicle fuel and emission standards, which would hike purchase prices and hurt the manufacturing sector, he said.

Last year, Austria and Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) co-authored a similar amendment during the 2012 interior and environment appropriations’ markup. The appropriations committee approved the amendment, but it was not included in the final interior funding bill.