The Fuel Economy Label-A Case Study in Government Rulemaking 851214
On April 6, 1984, EPA announced a final rule (40 CFR Part 600, Vol. 49, No. 68) which amended the Federal Fuel Economy Information Program by prescribing adjustment factors for the Federal fuel economy numbers and by establishing a new format for the Federal fuel economy label displayed on new vehicles. This rule, one of over 5, 000 documents printed in the 1984 Federal Register rule section, presents some interesting lessons about development of government regulations. The contents of this rule amended an existing rule, did not have a “major” impact on the economy, and was not considered to be controversial. Nonetheless, this rule represents at least nine years of work, negotiations, and deliberations by Federal and private sector organizations. The history of this rule can provide insight into the Federal rulemaking process, and the forces affecting that process.