Saturday 30 March 2024

Federal Judge Strikes Down Biden’s Highway Rule Imposing Climate Agenda On States

 A federal judge in Texas struck down a rule from the Biden administration that required states and cities to measure and set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions “associated with transportation.”

The rule, put forth by the Federal Highway Administration, was criticized by Republicans who argued that the federal government lacked authority to implement the mandate and that it was an attempt by the Biden administration to impose its climate agenda on conservative states. Texas sued in December to have the rule vacated and a federal judge sided with the state on Wednesday. 

“A federal administrative agency cannot act without congressional authorization. Here, the Federal Highway Administration created a rule requiring the states to measure, report, and set declining targets for the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles using the interstate and national-highway systems,” wrote Judge James Hendrix of the Northern District of Texas.

“Texas sued, alleging that the agency lacked authority to enact the rule. Given the statutory text’s plain language and context, the Court agrees,” Hendrix, a Trump appointee, added. 

In his 49-page decision, Hendrix said that the Department of Transportation had attempted to override the law’s “clear limitation of authorized performance measures to those that track the physical condition and efficiency of the interstate and national-highway systems.”

He said that in order for the federal government to force states to make greenhouse gas measurements Congress either had to amend 23 U.S. Code Section 150, a federal law related to national highways and interstates, or pass an entirely new law.

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


The decision was celebrated by Republicans in Congress, including Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Rick Crawford (R-AR).

“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,’” Graves and Crawford said in a statement. “Congress rejected the inclusion of a GHG performance measure requirement when the infrastructure law was developed, making the Administration’s rule making an unlawful attempt to circumvent Congress and force this one-size-fits-all burden upon every state and community across the country.”

Post a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search