Highway Greenhouse Gas Emissions Measurement Rules on Hold

May 31, 2017

Obama-era rules are on hold pending further review.

The Trump administration has postponed implementation of rules that would have required measuring the output of greenhouse gas emissions on federal highways.

Timothy Cama, writing in THE HILL, briefly outlines the history and current status of this development.

During the Obama administration, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) enacted “performance measurement standards for federally funded highways.”

The requirement that “state and local officials measure greenhouse gas emissions related to the use of specific highways” was originally included in “the performance provisions of the 2012 and 2015 highway infrastructure bills.”

The Trump administration has postponed, for a year, the implementation of some of these rules to allow the FHWA time to conduct hearings to determine whether they should “rescind or revise” the regulations.

Complying with the regulations would require states, counties, and municipalities already struggling to stay fiscally sound to spend additional time and money conducting and reporting emission tests on federally funded roads in their jurisdictions.

The Obama administration argued that the tests were necessary because they would provide valuable and essential environmental information. The review by the FHWA will determine if information obtained from the testing does, in fact, justify the expense.

Some of the cuts to personnel and funding of federal agencies by the Trump administration appear to be motivated primarily by a desire to keep promises made by President Trump during the election campaign.

This is not the case with the FHWA review. It is a reasonable study that will, hopefully, determine the best use of funds by state and local governments.


Trump admin delays greenhouse gas measurement rule for highways, Timothy Cama, THE HILL, May 18, 2017.