EPA’s power grab.  The Obama administration’s fuel economy standards will require an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  CEI’s Marlow Lewis notes that this is not just about the costs but an administrative agency ignoring the Constitution and the will of Congress. The laws used by the EPA to write the regulations were never, by any stretch of the imagination, meant to confer this power on the EPA.

Nevertheless, the EPA maintains an intrusive hand in the dictation of fuel standards without seeking the approval of Congress.

  • The NHTSA is supposed to have singular authority over the fuel standards, pursuant to the Energy Policy Conservation Act.
  • The EPA, however, has justified its actions through the Clean Air Act, which was never intended to directly regulate fuel standards.
  • The agency has even gone so far as to expand its mandate to stationary sources of emissions, gaining the ability to establish greenhouse gas performance standards for coal power plants and oil refineries.

Furthermore, the EPA’s actions clearly flout the will of Congress.

  • In the last Congress, after almost two decades of global warming advocacy, Congress declined to give EPA explicit authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
  • The notion that Congress gave EPA authority over fuel standards when the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, years before global warming emerged as a public concern, defies chronology.
  • It is widely accepted that a legislative proposal boosting average fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon would not pass in the 112th Congress.