President Bush Orders Agencies to Develop Regulations to Reduce Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Motor Vehicles
US President George Bush today issued an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Transportation to work together to begin developing regulations that will reduce gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, using the President’s 20-in-10 plan as a starting point.
The order directs that the development of the regulations be done “in a manner consistent with sound science, analysis of benefits and costs, public safety, and economic growth.” The Administration’s goal is to finish developing the regulation by the end of 2008.
The 20-in-10 proposal calls for a 20% reduction in gasoline usage over the next 10 years, with 15% of the reduction to come from the use of renewable and alternative fuels, and 5% to come from mandated increases in fuel efficiency.
Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA must take action under the Clean Air Act regarding greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. So today, I'm directing the EPA and the Department of Transportation, Energy, and Agriculture to take the first steps toward regulations that would cut gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.
Developing these regulations will require coordination across many different areas of expertise. Today, I signed an executive order directing all our agencies represented here today to work together on this proposal. I've also asked them to listen to public input, to carefully consider safety, science, and available technologies, and evaluate the benefits and costs before they put forth the new regulation.—President Bush
This rule-making will be complex and will require a sustained commitment from the administration to complete it in a timely fashion. While the President’s 20-in-10 plan, which would increase the supply of renewable and alternative fuel and reform the CAFE standards, will serve as a guide, we have not reached any conclusions about what the final regulation will look like. In most instances, by federal law, the Environmental Protection Agency must follow a specific process and take several steps before issuing a final regulation. This is a complex issue and EPA will ensure that any possible rule-making impacting emissions from all new mobile sources through the entire United States will adhere to the federal law.
We will solicit comments on a proposed rule from a broad array of stakeholders and other interested members of the public. Our ultimate decision must reflect a thorough consideration of public comments and an evaluation of how it fits within the scope of the Clean Air Act. Only after EPA has issued a proposal and considered public comments can it finalize a regulation.—Steve Johnson, Administrator of the EPA
While this order does not directly affect the outcome for California and other states which have adopted the California regulations mandating reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from future new vehicles, the overall argument has now changed from whether or not there should be regulation of CO2 as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act to what type of regulation it should be.