Oversight Chairman Issa Statement on NHTSA Announcement of Auto Rule Delay

August 15, 2012

WASHINGTON—Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) released the following statement following an announcement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it was delaying release of a new rule governing auto efficiency:

“The announcement today by the Obama Administration that it is delaying implementation of new auto standards is a victory for transparency and for consumer choice and safety.  Increased fuel efficiency is a goal all parties support—but pursuing new standards that increase vehicle cost and decrease vehicle safety is dangerous for consumers and unacceptable from regulators.

“Over the last year, the Committee has documented the Obama Administration’s unprecedented action to extract this agreement from automakers. 

“Our report released last week demonstrates the true cost to consumers of the proposed standards as well as concerns from automakers and government policy experts about safety consequences.  It also documented how ‘czars’ inside the White House ran negotiations from the highest levels, short-circuiting a long-established and deliberative regulatory process.

“Obama Administration efforts also included unilaterally elevating a state regulatory agency (California Air Resources Board) to the level of a national rule-maker with veto authority, placing the EPA in a lead negotiating role contrary to law, and sidelining NHTSA, an agency with a four decade record of working to achieve passenger safety—and fuel efficiency–improvements.

“The Obama Administration may attempt to further the agenda of environmental special interest groups—but placing their goals ahead of consumer safety and choice is a price too great to pay.”

A copy of the Committee’s report is available here.