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Senator Carper Asks EPA IG to Investigate Transparency of SAFE Vehicles Rule

Date: March 3, 2020

Sen. Thomas Carper, (D-Del.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, sent a letter to Sean O’Donnell, the inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Feb. 26, asking him to investigate evidence of EPA officials circumventing rulemaking requirements for the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule.

Carper mentions that he was informed that EPA officials were allegedly hiding the agency’s comments on SAFE from the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and instead only submitting them to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The letter also states that the, “DOT appears to have been the sole agency that wrote the (draft final rule) document that has been characterized as a joint EPA-DOT product that EPA never saw in its assembled form until it was submitted to the OIRA docket by the DOT.” In January, Carper called for DOT to submit a draft final Regulatory Impact Analysis to the OMB. The draft was completed, but, according to Carper’s February letter, the draft was identical to a January draft preamble document, except without “111 instances of the phrase ‘text forthcoming’” and no new forthcoming text.

MEMA supports continued progress of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) standards. If standards are relaxed, it would put at risk the investments, intellectual property and jobs here in the U.S. and shift them to other markets where the standards are more stringent. MEMA continues to work with EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on ensuring the final rule provides industry with regulatory certainty and continued progress in the standards. For more information, contact Laurie Holmes.

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