Earlier this week, we mentioned that the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency were preparing to release their first-ever joint regulations -- specifically, regulations on fuel efficiency and emissions. The document is intended to create a consistent, nationwide set of regulations in light of California's successful appeal to the EPA to set higher standards for vehicles sold within its borders. Now, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Automobile Dealers Association are trying to ensure that regulatory conundrums like the one California has caused don't arise in the future.
The two organizations have submitted a preliminary filing to the United States Court of Appeal in Washington, D.C., requesting a review of the EPA's approval of California's waiver. A fuller document -- likely a true lawsuit -- will be submitted to the court by October 13. Although few details are known about the filing at the moment, it's generally assumed that the USCC and NADA will eventually ask the appeals court to strike down the EPA ruling. While that would have no effect on the DOT/EPA nationwide regulations, it would set a precedent to prohibit states from setting their own emissions regulations in the future.
So far, no other major organizations have signed on to the filing with the USCC and NADA. Notable among the missing is the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents Detroit's Big Three and has remained noncommittal on the issue. Alliance spokesman Charles Territo said, "We share the Obama administration’s goals of increasing fuel economy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions and remain committed to the national program announced last May." Which might translate as, "Yeah, we would say more, but two of us are owned by the feds, and we have to dance with the one that brung us."