Government Affairs News

EPA Takes First Step Towards Regulating Greenhouse Gases

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a finding that high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions endanger the health and welfare of current and future generations of Americans. The decision comes nearly two years after the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA has the authority and duty to consider regulating CO2 emissions.

The Court’s intervention was sought since carbon dioxide is a natural chemical rather than a traditional “pollutant” subject to EPA oversight.

Connecticut Introduces Bill to Exempt Antique, Rare and Special Interest Vehicles From Property Taxes

A SEMA-supported bill (H.B. 6226) has been introduced in the Connecticut State Legislature to provide an exemption from property taxes for antique, rare and special interest vehicles. The bill is pending in the Joint Transportation Committee for consideration.

Connecticut law defines an "Antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle" as a motor vehicle twenty years old or older which is being preserved because of historic interest and which is not altered or modified from the original manufacturer's specifications.

West Virginia Amends Inoperable Vehicles Bill to Create Hobbyist Exemptions

At the urging of SEMA and the hobbyist community in the state, West Virginia legislation has been amended in committee. The bill originally sought to redefine “abandoned motor vehicles” to include vehicles or vehicle parts which are either unlicensed or inoperable, or both, are not in an enclosed building and have remained on private property for more than 30 days.

SEMA Challenges Claims That Cash for Clunkers Will Clean Environment

SEMA is disputing claims that vehicle scrappage programs will clean the air or reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil. SEMA contends that these misdirected programs do more environmental harm than good, and deny cash incentives to millions of Americans who want to buy a new car.

The scrappage debate was recently revived when President Obama endorsed scrappage as part of an overall strategy to help rebuild the U.S. auto industry.

Feds Establish New Fuel-Economy Standards for Model Year 2011

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) raised the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for Model Year 2011 vehicles by about 2 miles per gallon (mpg) above the 2010 standards. The NHTSA will use an attribute-based system which sets CAFE standards for individual fleets of vehicles based on size, taking into account the differences between cars and light trucks (SUVs, pickups and vans).

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