Dec. 1, 2010 by Lena Pons

Procedural Maze Continues for Vehicle Efficiency Regulation

Update: EPA and NHTSA have issued the Supplemental Notice of Intent.

The regulatory process is often complex: agencies must balance opportunities for public comment, complex scientific information, and economic analysis, all while trying to craft a program that fulfills a legal mandate. But when it comes to crafting proposals for vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards, the process has become an administrative nightmare.

In May, President Obama announced plans for the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to propose fuel economy standards for 2017-2025. Last week, EPA and NHTSA sent a supplemental notice of intent to propose fuel economy standards to OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review. OIRA has 90 days to review the document, but it is expected to be released  in the coming weeks.

The document is the third official statement of policy to come from the Obama administration in advance of a proposed rule for light duty (cars, minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks) vehicle efficiency standards expected in September 2011. EPA says the document, not publicly available, promises to make incremental steps toward proposing standards, including “narrowing the range of potential stringencies” for the upcoming proposed regulation. 

EPA and NHTSA’s …

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