Issa sends new request for information on auto fuel standard accord

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today reiterated his request for information on how climate czar Carol Browner helped negotiate an agreement with automakers on fuel efficiency standards last year.

That deal is “shrouded in secrecy and reeks of back room deals,” and may violate the Presidential Records Act, Issa wrote White House counsel Robert Bauer on Wednesday. See the letter here. Issa sent a letter seeking information on the auto deal in November to then White House counsel Greg Craig.

Under the agreement, automakers pledged to improve the gas mileage of their fleet of vehicles in return for a federal efficiency standard. Another party to the deal, California, agreed to delay its own auto fuel standards for the next several years.

In seeking the information, Issa notes a New York Times article that suggested Browner directed participants in the discussions to remain silent about the negotiations and to not put anything on paper. Issa maintains that direction may violate the PRA, which requires the White House to develop records policies to adequately document executive actions.