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.

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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

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