CEI Comment on EPA’s Reconsideration of California’s Request for a Waiver to Establish Emission Standards for new Motor Vehicles

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EPA should stick to its guns and deny California’s request for a waiver of federal preemption of State motor vehicle emission standards. Granting the waiver would allow the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to impose potentially lethal burdens on an industry in crisis. California has no “extraordinary conditions” with respect either to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations or the potential impacts thereof, and consequently does not “need” a waiver. The CARB program massively and directly regulates fuel economy, and thus violates the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), which prohibits State law and regulation “related to” fuel economy. Granting the waiver would allow CARB and other “California” States to nullify the fuel economy reforms Congress adopted through EISA, violating the Supremacy Clause. Finally, granting the waiver would create a State-by-State patchwork of vehicle rationing programs, an economically-ruinous policy clearly at odds with congressional intent.