Just four days ago, we were celebrating the news that President Obama reached a landmark agreement with 13 automakers to pursue a 54.5 MPG average fleet goal by the vehicle model year 2025. The agreement was a huge step forward for Obama’s environmental campaign, and shows that automakers and our government are on the same page when it comes to fuel efficiency. The rules will save drivers a whopping $8,000 per vehicle at the pump, but guess what? Republicans aren’t having it. Claiming that Obama violated administrative law by meeting with automakers behind closed doors, the GOP, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Cali.), is launching an investigation into the new fuel economy requirements.
Republicans thwarted Obama’s goal of reducing carbon emissions to those of the Copenhagen Accord by filibustering last year’s climate legislation, so the Obama administration has taken to tackling greenhouse gases on a smaller scale — like by requiring more fuel efficient vehicles. Thirteen auto companies, including Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, and GM, worked closely with the White House to create an agreement that made sense for everyone. But in their infinite anti-environmental sentiments, the Republicans are pulling out all the stops to keep even any forward-thinking, green legislation from moving forward.
The investigation is being led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Cali.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He has requested that every automaker involved in the talks preserve all electronic documents and correspondence related to the meetings created since February. “I am concerned about the agreement’s lack of transparency, the failure to conduct an open rulemaking process, as well as the potential for vehicle cost increases on consumers, and negative impact on American jobs,” Issa wrote in a letter to auto company executives on Friday.
The investigation is just beginning. No hearings have been scheduled yet, but a spokesman for Issa told the Huffington Post that “all options are still on the table.” The Office of Management and Budget will review the new standards, and there will be a public comment period next month. But this isn’t good enough for Issa, who like many other Republicans, believes that the big bad EPA will simply stomp all over consumers and ignore any suggestions.
“The EPA will not be open to suggestions or comments made by consumers after a ‘deal’ with automakers has already been reached,” Issa said in his letter.
So far no efforts have been made to contact the White House, but we’re sure (since they’ve quite a knack for it) the Republicans will be able to stir up their Tea Party base and create quite a spectacle about the entire investigation. We just hope that it’s a fruitless fight, and Issa and his party find no success in pushing us back toward the brink thanks to their complete disregard of climate change.
Via Huffington Post