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Pallone, Rush Troubled by GOP Efforts to Amend Clean Air Act and Give Pass to Auto Manufacturers

Oct 26, 2015
Press Release
E&C Leaders Insist Legislation to Change Environmental Standards be Reviewed by Subcommittee of Jurisdiction

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) sent a letter to Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) insisting that the “Discussion Draft on Vehicle and Roadway Safety” be considered by the Energy and Power Subcommittee, since the proposed legislation makes substantive changes to the Clean Air Act.

“Frankly, we are astonished that, in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the Committee would even consider opening the Clean Air Act to provide automakers new statutory means to avoid environmental regulations that protect public health,” said Pallone and Rush.

Last week, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a legislative hearing to discuss a draft auto bill prepared by Committee Republicans.  However, a number of provisions in the draft bill directly amends the Clean Air Act, which falls squarely within the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power.

For example, the draft bill amends the Clean Air Act to give auto manufacturers greenhouse gas emissions credits in exchange for including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) or crash avoidance technology in their cars, even though there is no evidence that these technological advances reduce emissions. 

The lawmakers made clear that they would like these harmful provisions amending the Clean Air Act be removed from the discussion draft altogether.  However, barring that action, the Ranking Members insisted that regular order be followed and that the legislation be referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Power for consideration before it moves to the full Committee.

The full text of the letter is available here.