CEI - Did Obama EPA/DOT officials lie to Congress?

Did Obama Administration EPA and Department of Transportation officials lie to Congress? That is a question CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis raises in recent commentary on Globalwarming.org.

At an October 12 hearing House Regulatory Affairs and Stimulus Oversight Subcommittee, EPA Assistant Air Administrator Gina McCarthy, EPA Air Transportation and Air Quality Director Margo Oge, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) David Strickland denied, under oath, that greenhouse gas emission standards are “related to” fuel economy standards.

But as Lewis explains, "Motor vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards implicitly – and inescapably – regulate fuel economy.” Based on EPA, NHTSA, and California Air Resources Board (CARB) documents, Lewis shows that greenhouse gas emission standards are highly “related to” fuel economy standards. At the hearing, the Obama officials denied plain facts they must know to be true. Why?

Had they spoken truthfully, they would also have to admit that EPA is regulating fuel economy, which is outside the scope of its delegated authority, and that CARB is regulating fuel economy, which is prohibited by the Energy Policy Conservation Act (EPCA).

The implications are huge. EPA’s greenhouse gas/fuel economy standards were the trigger for the agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases from “major” stationary sources. AB 1493 created the threat of market-balkanizing, state-by-state fuel-economy patchwork. EPA granted California a waiver to implement AB 1493 just so Obama negotiators could offer to remove the patchwork threat in return for industry’s promise not to challenge EPA and CARB’s newfound careers as fuel economy regulators.

In short, the Obama officials could not acknowledge plain facts they must know to be true without admitting that EPA’s greenhouse gas regulatory agenda rests on dubious legal foundations.