About Roger C. Fairchild, Esq., P.C.
I have worked in the Federal regulatory area for my entire professional career.
I began my career in the EPA Office of Enforcement and General Counsel, initially working on such matters as assembly line testing and gasoline vapor recovery. Subsequently, I worked in the Office of the General Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I was the staff attorney assigned to the fuel economy standards (CAFE) program in its formative years.
Later, my responsibilities included a range of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and related compliance issues. My responsibilities included work with other agencies, including EPA, the Department of Energy, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service, as well as Congressional Committee staff, industry officials, and public interest sector organizations.
I then left Federal service to work in a firm established by former EPA officials. That work supported regulatory compliance efforts of several vehicle manufacturers, addressing emissions control, safety, and fuel economy matters.
This work involved matters ranging from enforcement issues to “preventive medicine” work. The latter work involved providing interpretive guidance as to current regulatory requirements as well as guidance on anticipated future Federal requirements, to support manufacturer product planning in accordance with law and regulations.
In 2001, I formed my own consulting firm, providing similar regulatory support services. I have worked with clients including vehicle manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers, trade associations, and other organizations.
The U.S. vehicle regulatory sector is a relatively small “community” made up of engineers, attorneys, and government relations officials. The “community” is based primarily in Washington, D.C. but with significant satellite regions in metropolitan Detroit, California, and several other locations. The individuals that I have worked with over the course of my career, including both those in the public and private sector, have been almost uniformly people of high competence, integrity, and compassion. I have found my colleagues in both the public and private sectors to be highly motivated to help the auto industry provide automotive transportation that is safe, efficient, and protective of the environment. We take great pride and satisfaction in our efforts to help assure that vehicles provide consumers substantial benefits in each of these areas.
Consistent with my views regarding the personal qualities of my colleagues and the importance of our work, my government relations philosophy is based on fostering honest, full, and transparent communication between industry and government officials, while focusing on improving vehicle safety, efficiency, and environmental impact. Promoting these values is fully consistent with the production and sale of high quality vehicles. It has become increasingly clear over recent years that consumers value high performance in terms of safety, efficiency, and environmental impact in the vehicles that they purchase. The phrase “safety sells” is truer now than ever before, and similar statements can be made regarding fuel efficiency and environmental impact. I have found that regulatory compliance efforts that seek to “cut corners” are ultimately counterproductive, as are government relations efforts that are based on secrecy or lack of cooperation. The latter approaches harm corporate reputations, which can lead to further difficulties in dealing with Federal agencies. Significantly, these approaches often lead to adverse impacts to companies in the auto market.
My work on regulatory matters and my philosophy on this work are consistent with my personal interest in motor vehicles. I am a “car guy,” with a hobby focusing on Asian and European sports cars.