The Trump administration is set to repeal a rule finalized in the last days of the Obama administration that would have required states and some cities to take greenhouse gas emissions into account when planning transportation projects.
The rule change, finalized by the Department of Transportation (DOT) on Tuesday and set to be published to the Federal Register in the coming days where it will become official, removes the obligation for states and cities to measure greenhouse gas emissions from fuel use by vehicles on their roads that would be associated with new projects such as expanding highways. Targets for limiting greenhouse gas emissions will not be required either. The government estimates this will save $1.67 million annually.
“This repeal will alleviate a burden on State DOTs [Department of Transport] and MPOs [Metropolitan Planning Organization] that imposed costs with no predictable level of benefits,” the final rule published on DOT’s website states. “This final rule does not prohibit State DOTs and MPOs from choosing voluntarily to measure and assess CO2 emissions.”
The climate rules were part of a broad spectrum of Federal Highway Administration performance measures that were finalized on January 18, 2017. The Trump administration had originally sought to delay implementation of the climate portion of the rule, stating in a notice published in the Federal Register in May that portions of the rule specifically dealing with greenhouse gas emissions measurements “would benefit from further notice and comment.”