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Smith Questions Intent of Federal Highway Administration’s Proposed Rule

May 11, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx requesting documents and communications related to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) recently proposed vehicle performance measures rule.

FHWA’s proposed rule supposedly seeks to outline new performance measures to assess travel reliability, congestion, and emissions at a national level. The rule requires the estimation and reporting of the reduction in criteria pollutants resulting from federal funding. FHWA also seeks comment on whether and how to establish a greenhouse gas emissions measure. 

During the course of the Committee’s oversight of the administration’s climate agenda, which now includes the FHWA’s proposed rule, it came across troubling reports concerning the rule’s true intent. The reports indicate that the proposed rule may be a direct result of political pressure from the administration on federal agencies, rather than a necessary regulation backed by sound science.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The Federal Highway Administration’s inclusion of performance measures for greenhouse gases in its proposed rule raises serious concerns. This administration has a long history of allowing politics rather than science to drive its regulatory decision making. The Committee must work to ensure that all  government agencies, including FHWA, adhere to scientific principles and objective process. Sound, transparent science should be the backbone of any regulation affecting the American people.”

The Committee has been actively engaged in understanding the technical and scientific merits used to justify the administration’s Climate Action Plan. The Committee takes seriously the duty to ensure that the scientific government agencies are held accountable to the taxpayers who fund them and will continue to conduct rigorous oversight of this issue.

The full letter can be found HERE

114th Congress