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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

EPA Documents - Global Warming a Danger, Vehicle Emissions Should be Regulated


Contact: Select Committee, 202-225-4012

EPA Documents—Global Warming a Danger, Vehicle Emissions Should be Regulated

Select Committee Review of Subpoenaed December Draft Regulations Shows EPA Moving Towards Climate Regulations, Higher Fuel Economy, Before Administration Pullback

WASHINGTON (June 24, 2008) – The Environmental Protection Agency was on its way towards finding global warming emissions to be a danger to public welfare, and that these emissions should be regulated in vehicles and fuels, according to a review of subpoenaed global warming documents by the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. The review of the documents follows a lengthy process of negotiation with the EPA and the White House, which started in January of 2008, and brings into serious question the administration’s u-turn on regulating global warming emissions.

The documents are the draft regulatory recommendations from December 5 and December 14 of 2007, and were sent to the White House and to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for approval before reports indicate all work was stopped on the recommendations. The White House is now in the process of completing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), which would be a step backwards in what the Select Committee has found to be an already advanced process towards regulating global warming emissions.

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Select Committee, today sent a letter to the President on the documents, saying that any proposed rules disseminated from his administration should live up to the quality of recommendations put forward by his own EPA experts in climate and transportation.

“This administration has shown its contempt for Congress, its contempt for the rule of law, and this administration’s handling of the Massachusetts v. EPA decision has shown its contempt for science,” said Chairman Markey. “The president has a short amount of time to alter his legacy as running the most environmentally-unfriendly administration in history, and he can start by listening to his own climate scientists and take action on global warming.”

The letter, which is available on the Select Committee’s website at, outlines how the documents reviewed by the committee indicate that, along with global warming being a danger to public welfare and in need of regulation:

--EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson determined that man-made global warming is unequivocal, the evidence is both compelling and robust, and the administration must act to prevent harm rather than wait for harm to occur before acting.

--EPA found  that global warming risks include severe heat waves, sea level rise, reduced availability of water, increased wildfire and insect outbreaks, an increase in heavy precipitation events, an increase in regional ground-level ozone pollution, and changes in the range of vector-borne diseases.

--EPA proposed that regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles be implemented in order to achieve the equivalent of a 35 mpg car and light truck fleet average by 2018 (with the car fleet averaging 38.4 mpg by 2018 and the truck fleet averaging 29.5 mpg by 2017). 

--When EPA used the EIA 2007 high gasoline price projections of $2.75 in 2017 to $3.20 in 2030 to calculate standards, it found that the car fleet could achieve a standard of 43.3 mpg by 2018 and light trucks could achieve a standard of 30.6 mpg by 2017.

EPA is set to release its draft ANPR soon, and the letter makes clear that any future regulations from the administration on global warming will be measured against the standards put forward by its own environmental and energy experts.

The regulations reviewed were created in response to the Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, which directed the administration to make a determination on the danger posed by global warming and to propose regulations for reducing global warming emissions from motor vehicles and fuels. On May 14, 2007 the President directed EPA, along with other agencies, to prepare a regulatory response to by the end of 2007 and to complete it by the end of 2008. According to reports, EPA staff spent about 6 months developing this proposal, and transmitted both a positive finding of endangerment to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and a draft regulatory proposal to require the equivalent of a 35 miles per gallon (mpg) fuel economy standard from the fleet of cars and light trucks by 2018 to NHTSA in early December, 2007.

A timeline of the negotiations between Chairman Markey and the administration on these documents is available on the Select Committee’s website here:

PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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