Republican States Challenge Highway Emissions Plan

A federal proposal that would require states to monitor and set targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, praised by Democrats, is being called “unworkable” by many Republican states.

Read Time: 1 minute

October 24, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Close-up of back of three cars in a line with smoke coming from tailpipes

Ody_Stocker / Tailpipe emissions

Republican-led states are pushing back on a proposal to monitor and curb greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s highways, calling it federal overreach and arguing that the plan is “illegal and unworkable.” As Daniel C. Vock reports for Route Fifty, the proposal “would require states and metropolitan planning organizations to establish targets for cutting greenhouse gas pollution from vehicles” without implementing any enforcement mechanism. Opponents argue that the FHWA does not have the authority to make such requirements.

According to Vock, “Another major point of friction is over the ability and authority of state transportation departments to handle the requirements.” A statement from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation stated, “The mission and purpose of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation does not include reducing [greenhouse] gasses.”

“The Biden administration’s framework calling for reductions of those pollutants would disproportionately harm rural and fast-growing states, [opponents] also argued,” pointing out that many people in rural states have to drive longer distances for everyday needs.

If this all sounds familiar, it’s because the debate echoes a similar fight over an Obama-era policy revoked by the Trump administration.

The proposal is supported by many Democratic states, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), among others.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 in Route Fifty

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Aerial view of dense single-family homes in neighborhood still under construction

How Virginia Counties Use Zoning to Stifle Development

Some state legislators are proposing action at the state level as counties block development using zoning and development requirements even as housing prices rise sharply in the region.

January 23, 2023 - The Virginia Mercury

New York City Coronavirus

The Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity to Remake Downtown

Urban cores around the country were transforming into live, work, and play destinations before the pandemic. The pandemic was a setback for this transformation, but it could also be a rare opportunity. It’s up to city leadership to seize it.

January 23, 2023 - The Washington Post

Rendering of red seven-story student housing building with students walking in open grassy plaza in front of building

L.A. Times Editorial Board Calls for CEQA Reform

The Board argues that the environmental law, while important, has too often been ‘weaponized’ by NIMBY groups to delay or halt housing development.

1 hour ago - Los Angeles Times

Seattle buses in line at a depot with Seattle skyline in background

Seattle Brings Free Transit to Public Housing

Linking transit programs to housing can lower administrative costs and streamline the process for riders.

2 hours ago - Route Fifty

Broad street in downtown Columbus, Ohio with two pedestrians in crosswalk

Columbus Could Lower Downtown Speed Limits

The city council will vote on a proposal to lower speed limits to 25 miles per hour to improve safety and make downtown more walkable and welcoming to pedestrians.

3 hours ago - The Columbus Dispatch