ClimateWire recently reported about documents showing friction between the EPA and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as the two worked to finalize proposed rollbacks of Obama-era clean car rules. The joint EPA and NHTSA proposal is reported to be the product of considerable discussions among the two groups. The NHTSA said the agencies provided feedback to each other as they developed their policy and analysis for the proposal, as is typical for any joint rulemaking.
Bracewell Partner Jeff Holmstead, who headed the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation from 2001 to 2005, commented that “courts will no doubt take the rulemaking record into account ‘if and when the Trump standards are challenged.’”
The documents, released on regulations.gov, raise new questions about the Trump administration’s ability to defend the proposal in court if its fundamental assumptions remain unchanged.