Auto Industry Weighs in Against Murkowski Amendment that Delays EPA Regulation of Stationary Source CO2 Emissions
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM) have sent a joint letter to US Senator Diane Feinstein, opposing an amendment to an appropriations act that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from spending money on regulating carbon dioxide from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act for a period of one year.
Senator Feinstein is the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski proposed Amendment Number 2530 to H.R. 2996, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said her amendment is necessary to avoid the “economic train wreck” that would result from the Environmental Protection Agency regulating stationary sources of carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. The AAM and AIAM are opposing this amendment.
As manufacturers, we are sympathetic to the thrust of Senator Murkowski’s amendment that the Congress—and not simply EPA acting under the provisions of the current Clean Air Act—should determine how best to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide.
However, the amendment raises additional issues that must be considered where complicated and interconnected environmental and legal issues are at stake. We are concerned that due to the complex interactions among regulations under the various sections of the Clean Air Act, the amendment may impact significantly pending regulations in the mobile source sector—despite language in the amendment that would appear to leave the sector unaffected. In a letter to Senator Feinstein dated September 23, Administrator Jackson stated EPA’s interpretation that the Murkowski amendment as filed would “make it impossible for the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate the light-duty vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions standards that the agency proposed on September 15, 2009.”
While the author of the amendment appears not to intend this outcome, we feel compelled to express our concerns. It is critical that the national program for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from autos be finalized early next year. Failure to do so would subject automakers to a patchwork of conflicting state and federal regulations.—AAM President and CEO Dave McCurdy and AIAM President and CEO Michael Stanton