Rep. Fred Upton Wants New Emissions Regulations

Republican Fred Upton wants to rewrite emissions regulations and force the EPA, as well as states, to cease passing emission laws until 2017.

The battle between the government, state governments and automakers on the subject of emissions and fuel mileage has been raging longer than the 30 years war. The reason for this ongoing conflict is simple, neither side can agree on what or why emissions and fuel economy should be mandated. Recently, a member of the government stepped up and asked for change.

The battle on vehicle emissions has a new leader, a member of the Republican Party, who believes that the rules need to be rewritten. A week ago, numerous media outlets reported that the Republican house members were working on legislation aimed at reversing the Clean Air Act and now, it seems these reports were true.

Way back in 2007, the Supreme Court, because they had nothing better to do, ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency had the authority to regulate vehicle emissions, a massive leap forward, but one that never went into full affect until President Obama began taking the necessary steps for hardened fuel economy rules.

Throughout the years, states like California, who seem to make their own laws about numerous subjects, have been living under different emissions regulations that were thought up by the Air Resource Board created of California, in an effort to clean up the air. Other states soon followed suit and while this sounds good in practice, it caused mass confusion in the offices of the automakers. This confusion has caused the auto companies and federal government to introduce a bill that will unify this country’s emission laws.

Now, a Republican big wig, Fred Upton, unrelated to the baseball duo, has developed a plan to ban states such as California from creating their own emission laws, as well as overturn the Clean Air Act, according to a report in the Detroit News.

Ford and Toyota, prior to the bills unveiling, voiced their concerns over the current situation. They sent letters to the House describing their concerns in depth, but they mainly focused on the new regulations that are set to cost them and the other automakers $50 billion by 2016, money that no car company has at the moment.

As of now, the bill has not garnered any support or opposition from automakers or the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The bill itself would not change anything that has been put in place currently through 2016, but it would ban states and the EPA from creating new rules until 2017.

An EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, said that this bill would hamper the United States’ energy gains. She said that these new standards would prevent the US from using 1.85 billion barrels of oil and it could reduce emissions by 962 million tons.

[Detroit News]

Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.