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Larry Fafarman

--"The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) required the Bush Administration to increase gas mileage standards. But today’s regulations, buried on page 378, there is an attempt--in violation of law--to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA and two district court opinions which affirm that gas mileage standards are separate from state greenhouse gas regulations."--

Wrong -- the Supreme Court did not say that they are separate. The Supreme court said in Mass. v. EPA that the two obligations -- regulating fuel efficiency and regulating greenhouse-gas emissions -- "may overlap":

--" EPA finally argues that it cannot regulate carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles because doing so would require it to tighten mileage standards, a job (according to EPA) that Congress has assigned to DOT. See 68 Fed. Reg. 52929. But that DOT sets mileage standards in no way licenses EPA to shirk its environmental responsibilities. EPA has been charged with protecting the public’s “health” and “welfare,” 42 U. S. C. §7521(a)(1), a statutory obligation wholly independent of DOT’s mandate to promote energy efficiency. See Energy Policy and Conservation Act, §2(5), 89 Stat. 874, 42 U. S. C. §6201(5). The two obligations may overlap, but there is no reason to think the two agencies cannot both administer their obligations and yet avoid inconsistency. "--
-- from

Not only "may" the two obligations overlap, they actually do overlap -- fuel efficiency and green-house gas emissions are inextricably tied together in conventional vehicles.

No one is more in favor of stringent standards for fuel efficiency and GHG emissions than I am -- it is just that I feel that there should be uniform national standards instead of separate federal and California standards. One of the original main purposes of the California waivers -- if not the most important original purpose -- was to use California as a "testing area" for new emissions control technologies. As a result, differences between California-certified vehicles and federally-certified vehicles were usually small and short-lived (a big exception was the zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) electric-vehicle program). The California waiver request for GHG emissions requires huge, expensive and long-term differences between California and federal vehicles and thus would be a hardship on the auto industry, auto dealers, and others.

I think that rising fuel costs -- oil recently hit $118 per barrel and gasoline is now in the range of $4 per gallon -- are going to make these laws and regulations moot. I saw a report of a big surge in the sales of fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles.

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