Automobile Organization’s Letter Supports Murkowski’s Disapproval Resolution

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today welcomed the National Automobile Dealers Association's (NADA) support for her efforts to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from imposing economically-harmful climate regulations.

The letter from NADA Chairman Ed Tonkin clearly refutes arguments that passage of Sen. Murkowski's disapproval resolution would block stronger fuel economy standards and create uncertainty for the auto industry.

"The Department of Transportation would still have the authority to enforce higher fuel-economy standards if the EPA were stripped of its ability to regulate greenhouse gases", Tonkin wrote in the letter to Sen. Murkowski. He called EPA's proposed carbon limits for vehicles "duplicative and wasteful."

In September, the EPA and DOT jointly proposed regulations to increase the fuel economy of new cars and trucks. According to that proposal, DOT's regulations would boost average fuel economy to 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016. The EPA's regulations would raise the benchmark an additional 1.4 miles per gallon.

"The National Automobile Dealers Association supports a higher CAFE standard, and enactment of your resolution would not adversely affect the Administration's fuel economy/GHG goals for vehicles," Tonkin wrote.

Agency officials have argued that the disapproval resolution would result in uncertainty for the auto industry and a patchwork of fuel-efficiency standards, but NADA's chairman argues it would actually help re-establish uniformity that was lost when the current Administration took office.

"Passage of the Murkowski Resolution would be a step towards actual uniformity, as there would be one less redundant fuel economy standard (EPA's) with which the industry must comply," Tonkin wrote.

When the Obama Administration took office last year, there was a single, uniform national fuel-economy standard. It was the current Administration's decision to allow states to regulate fuel economy by granting the California waiver that has resulted in the threat of patchwork regulations. While the Administration created this problem, it also has the authority to fix it.

"It strains credulity to believe that the ‘economically distressed automobile manufacturing industry' would be better off regulated by three different fuel economy standards with three different sets of rules administered by three different agencies rather than being subject to one CAFE program," Tonkin wrote.

Sen. Murkowski's disapproval resolution is co-sponsored by 37 Republicans and three Democrats. The measure would reverse EPA's "endangerment finding" for greenhouse gases, and send a clear signal that elected representatives in Congress - not government bureaucrats at EPA - are responsible for developing the nation's energy and climate change policies.

"I continue to believe that the command-and-control approach advocated by the EPA is our worst option for reducing the emissions blamed for climate change. This unilateral effort will raise consumer energy prices, increase the administrative burdens on small businesses, and create massive new layers of government bureaucracy. Such regulation will ultimately endanger job creation, economic growth, and America's competitiveness. " Murkowski said.

"The Clean Air Act was written by Congress to regulate criteria pollutants, not greenhouse gases, and its implementation remains subject to oversight and guidance from elected representatives," Murkowski said. "We should continue our work to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation, but in the meantime, we cannot turn a blind eye to the EPA's efforts to impose back-door climate regulations with no input from Congress."

NADA's letter to Sen. Murkowski is attached.

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