Biden’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rule for Vehicles Struck Down by Texas Judge

Judge James Hendrix said the Biden administration lacked authority under law to impose the gas emissions rule.

A judge in Texas struck down a Biden administration rule on March 28 that required states to measure and report the greenhouse gas emissions from any vehicles using the national highway system.

The rule was issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 2023 as part of President Biden’s efforts to slash carbon emissions in half by 2030.

Specifically, it required state transportation departments and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to both measure their transportation-related emissions on the U.S. highway system and set their own emission reduction targets.

Additionally, the measure required state DOTs and MPOs to report biennially on their progress in meeting the declining targets. FHWA would also assess the state’s progress toward achieving those targets, according to the rule.

Texas sued the DOT in December, arguing the agency lacked legal authority from Congress to enact the rule, and that it violates the Administrative Procedure Act.

In his ruling, Judge James Hendrix of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas agreed, stating that the Biden administration lacked authority under law to impose the greenhouse gas emissions performance measure.

‘Regulation Attempts to Override Statutory Text’

“When a regulation attempts to override statutory text, the regulation loses every time, regulations can’t punch holes in the rules Congress has laid down,” the judge wrote, citing a previous case, Djie v. Garland.

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“That is what occurred here, the DOT’s 2023 Rule attempts to override Section 150(c)(3)’s clear limitation of authorized performance measures to those that track the physical condition and efficiency of the interstate and national highway systems,” the judge, appointed under President Donald Trump, wrote.

“If the people, through Congress, believe that the states should spend the time and money necessary to measure and report GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions and set declining emission targets, they may do so by amending Section 150 or passing a new law. But an agency cannot make this decision for the people,” he concluded.

A separate lawsuit was also filed in Kentucky in December by 21 other states over the measure. That lawsuit is still pending.

‘Blatant Overreach by the Biden Administration’

Republicans, including the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman, Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), and the Highways and Transit Subcommittee chairman, Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), praised the ruling in a joint statement on March 28.

“This was a clear case of blatant overreach by the Biden Administration from the beginning, and we commend the Court for its ruling that a ‘federal administrative agency cannot act without congressional authorization,’” the lawmakers said.

“Congress rejected the inclusion of a GHG performance measure requirement when the infrastructure law was developed, making the Administration’s rulemaking an unlawful attempt to circumvent Congress and force this one-size-fits-all burden upon every state and community across the country,” they continued. “We appreciate the ruling and remain committed to ensuring the Administration does not exceed its authority.”

Cars travel along Interstate 80 in Berkeley, California, on January 16, 2024. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Cars travel along Interstate 80 in Berkeley, California, on January 16, 2024. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In finalizing the rule in December last year, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the performance measure would provide states with a “clear and consistent framework to track carbon pollution and the flexibility to set their own climate targets.” Officials also said transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

A spokesperson for the highway administration, which is part of the Transportation Department, told The Hill after Judge Hendrix’s ruling that the agency is currently reviewing the decision and weighing its next steps.

The spokesperson added the Biden administration is committed to combatting climate change.

The Epoch Times has contacted the Department of Transportation for further comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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