The amendment, from Ohio Republican Steve Austria, would prohibit the agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions from new motor vehicles or their engines after model year 2016. The proposal leaves intact a carefully negotiated agreement between the Obama administration and automakers to reduce greenhouse gases from vehicles. However, the amendment would prevent state and local authorities from setting standards for subsequent model years.
The committee adopted the amendment on a 27-20 vote, with former panel chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) joining Democrats in dissent.
Austria’s top campaign contributors include coal-fired electric utility American Electric Power, which has given the two-term politician $31,450 over his career. He has also received over $32,000 each from the automotive and oil and gas industries, and has strong ties to the National Association of Manufacturers, a major right-wing climate denier lobby group.