U.S. Senate Strikes Down Biden Administration’s Climate Regulations that Target Car Emissions

On Wednesday, the United States Senate voted to pass legislation to reverse the Biden administration’s actions, which mandated states track and then set reduction goals for greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles on highways.

The Senate chamber approved the resolution by 53-47, during which Senators Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio; Kyrsten Sinema, an Independent from Arizona; Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat; and John Tester, a Montana Democrat, joined every Republican who voted in the affirmative. 

The legislation was introduced in February by Senators Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia; Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota; and Manchin.

“Few things are more frustrating in government than un-elected bureaucrats asserting authority they don’t have and foisting federal mediocrity on the excellence of states,” said Cramer in Wednesday remarks on the floor.

“The Senate will take up my bipartisan resolution that overturns the Biden administration’s obviously illegal rule that requires state departments of transportation to measure CO2 tailpipe emissions then set declining targets for vehicles traveling on the highway systems of their respective states,” continued Cramer.

The resolution is a response to the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations finalized in November, which the agency said supports President Joe Biden’s “whole-of-government approach” of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.

Pete Buttigieg, the Transportation Secretary, said at the time that regulations give states the flexibility to set their own climate targets.

However, Cramer and other legislators argued that the FHWA overstepped its constitutional authority by issuing regulations that impose performance measures on metropolitan planning organizations and state transportation departments. Cramer slammed the FHWA for justifying the rules by saying Congress didn’t explicitly prevent the action.

“The Biden administration should have never introduced this rule. But now we, the policymaking branch of government, must end it,” said the GOP North Dakotan.

Legislation now faces a vote in the House

After the Senate vote, the legislation now faces a House vote. A companion bill was introduced by Republican Rick Crawford of Arkansas and Sam Graves, Transportation Committee Chairman and Republican from Missouri. However, the White House issued a statement before the vote Wednesday saying that Biden would veto the bill if it were passed.

The resolution’s passage also comes shortly after two federal courts ruled in favor of a coalition of over 20 industry groups and states and struck down the FHWA regulations.

“The Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration remain committed to supporting the Biden-Harris administration’s climate goals of cutting carbon pollution in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050,” said an FHWA spokesperson in an interview with Fox News Digital. We are reviewing the court’s decision and determining the next steps.”