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ASA Supports the Regulatory Accountability Act

The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 aims to eliminate overly-burdensome red tape and regulations in order to lift unnecessary burdens on hardworking Americans and to promote jobs, innovation, and economic growth. On February 6th, ASA joined with 615 other associations in a letter to urge Senate leadership to support this legislation which is designed to bring transparency, accountability, and integrity to the rulemaking process at federal agencies. To see the full text of the letter, click here.

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FCC and FTC Commissioners Outline Agency Agendas in New Administration

On Feb. 1, Center for Technology Innovation fellow Nicol Turner-Lee moderated a panel discussion at Brookings with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny that focused on what they would like to see as the primary agendas for these agencies going forward. The commissioners expressed their views of how their agencies will proceed with pending decisions on net neutrality, consumer privacy, and expanding broadband internet access, along with potential challenges to each agency’s authority. See more here.

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Carbon Pollution Standards for Cars and Light Trucks to Remain Unchanged Through 2025

Today, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy finalized her decision to maintain the current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model years 2022-2025 cars and light trucks. The final determination finds that a wide variety of effective technologies are available to reduce GHG emissions from cars and light trucks, and that automakers are well positioned to meet the standards through model year 2025 at lower costs than predicted.

“My decision today rests on the technical record created by over eight years of research, hundreds of published reports including an independent review by the National Academy of Sciences, hundreds of stakeholder meetings, and multiple opportunities for the public and the industry to provide input,”  said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  “At every step in the process the analysis has shown that the greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks remain affordable and effective through 2025, and will save American drivers billions of dollars at the pump while protecting our health and the environment.” For more information, please click here.

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Bill to Allow Federal Employees to be Reimbursed for Use of Ridesharing Services Passes U.S. House

On January 10th, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 274, the Modernizing Government Travel Act. If enacted, this legislation would allow Federal employees to be reimbursed for the use of “modern travel services,” including rideshareing applications such as Uber and Lyft.  When the Modernizing Government Travel Act first passed the House in 2016, the bill’s sponsor, Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA) stated, “Our bipartisan bill ensures that innovative and cost-effective modes of transportation are available to the thousands of federal employees in Washington and Massachusetts for official travel.” H.R. 274 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs for further consideration.

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Volkswagen to Recall 83,000 3.0 Liter Diesel Vehicles and Fund Mitigation Projects to Settle Allegations of Cheating Emissions Tests on Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche Vehicles

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Administration’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity Releases Final Report

In February 2016, President Obama established the Commission with Executive Order 13718. The Commission completed its report on Dec. 1, 2016, providing detailed short-term and long-term recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors, while protecting privacy, fostering innovation and ensuring economic and national security. To develop their recommendations, the commissioners consulted technical and policy experts, solicited input from the public through open hearings and a request for information, and reviewed existing literature.

The report emphasizes the need for partnerships between the public and private sectors, as well as international engagement. It also discusses the role consumers must play in enhancing our digital security. The report categorizes its recommendations within six overarching imperatives focused on infrastructure, investment, consumer education, workforce capabilities, government operations and requirements for a fair and open global digital economy.

The Commission praised the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its efforts to work with industry to develop voluntary and collaborative guidelines to secure IoT devices. For example, automotive manufacturers have called for a consistent set of federal guidelines for autonomous vehicles, and they have worked with the NHTSA on such rules.

To see the full text of the commission’s report, click here.

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EPA Moves to Ban Certain Aerosol Degreasers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to ban certain uses of the toxic chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) due to health risks when used as a degreaser and a spot removal agent in dry cleaning.

“For the first time in a generation, we are able to restrict chemicals already in commerce that pose risks to public health and the environment,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Once finalized, today’s action will help protect consumers and workers from cancer and other serious health risks when they are exposed to aerosol degreasing, and when dry cleaners use spotting agents.  I am confident that the new authority Congress has given us is exactly what we need to finally address these important issues.” See more here.

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California Commissioner Issues Auto Collision Repair Regulations

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued new Auto Collision Repair Labor Rate Survey Regulations that he said will increase consumer protections when a damaged vehicle is repaired.

The new regulation sets forth voluntary standards for insurers to accurately and reliably survey auto body repair labor rates to ensure they are paying the reasonable and proper amount. The regulation goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. However, these newly adopted regulations are part of the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations, which contain a delayed compliance date in order to give insurers, who choose to use these voluntary regulations, additional time to comply. The earliest compliance date is Feb. 28, 2017.

To view the full text of the regulation, please click here.

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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Proposes Leaving Emissions Standards in Place

WASHINGTON — Based on extensive technical analysis that shows automakers are well positioned to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model years 2022-2025, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy today proposed leaving the standards in place, so the program that was established in 2012 will stay on track to nearly double fuel economy, dramatically cut carbon pollution, maintain regulatory certainty for a global industry, and save American drivers billions of dollars at the pump. See the EPA’s full release here.

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The European Commission Releases Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems

On November 30th, 2016, the European Commission released a strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS). The strategy offers a step-by-step guidance for coordinated deployment of connected and automated vehicles across the European Union. The initial phase is slated to begin in 2019. To view the entire document, click here.

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