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Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan Message to the Congress Transmitting the Plan.

March 01, 1979

To the Congress of the United States:

As required by Section 201 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), 42 U.S.C. 6261, I am hereby transmitting to the Congress for its approval a Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan. I have also today directed the Secretary of Energy to publish the Plan in the FEDERAL REGISTER, as the final step in my prescribing a gasoline rationing plan by rule, as required by Sections 203 and 523 of the EPCA.

The Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan which I am transmitting today is the result of an extensive rulemaking proceeding in which over 1,100 comments from citizens throughout the United States were received and considered. I 'believe this plan, which would be implemented only in a severe energy supply emergency, would equitably allocate gasoline supplies and minimize economic hardships to the maximum extent possible without undue administrative costs and complexity.

Together with the energy conservation contingency plans which I am also transmitting to the Congress today under separate letter, the Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan would help mitigate the impact of a severe energy supply interruption. These measures, along with voluntary conservation efforts and other measures contained in existing legislation and the Department of Energy's present contingency programs, will provide the government with several options to deal with energy emergencies of varying types and degrees of severity. Such flexibility is essential if we are to prevent unnecessary hardship to our citizens and harm to our economy in the event of future curtailments of our energy supplies.

As required by Section 201(f) of the EPCA, the Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan is accompanied by an analysis which assesses the economic impacts of the Plan.

The procedures for approval by Congress of a contingency plan are detailed in Section 552 of the EPCA, and require among other things that a resolution of approval be passed by each House of Congress within 60 days of submittal of the plan. The EPCA does not specify the form which the resolution of approval is to take. It is my view and that of the Attorney General that actions of the Congress purporting to have binding legal effect must be presented to the President for his approval under Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution. Therefore, I strongly urge that Congressional approval of this plan be in the form of a joint resolution. If this procedure is followed, the plan itself, agreed to by Congress and the President, will not later be subject to possible judicial invalidation on the ground that the President did not approve the resolution.

I urge the prompt and favorable consideration by the Congress of this plan.


The White House,

March 1, 1979.

Note: The plan and accompanying analysis are printed in the FEDERAL REGISTER of March 14, 1979.

Jimmy Carter, Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan Message to the Congress Transmitting the Plan. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249038

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