Weekly Column

May 01 2023

A Legislative Victory

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed my resolution protecting truckers and consumers. The legislation would overturn a Biden administration rule that makes emissions standards stricter for heavy-duty vehicles like trucks. This aggressive rule, released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would force truckers to purchase new, expensive equipment to abide by a radical climate agenda — which would burden our economy as a whole.

The EPA’s own economic analysis found that the emissions mandate would result in overwhelming costs, reaching up to $55 billion from 2027 to 2045. The EPA projects that the technology required to meet this new rule’s standards would cost between $2,586 and $8,304 per vehicle. Trucking industry groups say it would be far more expensive. Truck manufacturers say the rule would “worsen an already-tight equipment market.”

The irony is that the costs of this rule would encourage truckers to hold onto their older, higher-emitting trucks instead of getting new, expensive equipment.

One trucking association put it this way: “If small business truckers can’t afford the new, compliant trucks, they’re going to stay with older, less efficient trucks, or leave the industry entirely. Once again, EPA has largely ignored the warnings and concerns raised by truckers in this latest rule.” This environmental plan wouldn’t even work, but the EPA still wants to sacrifice truckers’ livelihoods for a political move.

Three million Americans work as commercial truckers, including one in 12 people who work in the trucking industry in Nebraska. Many truckers work for small “mom and pop” businesses that don’t have the financial resources to handle a spike in costs.

But it’s not just truckers who would be harmed by this rule. Every American consumer would feel the effects of this rule and its price increases. Every agricultural producer and every local business would feel these effects.

During this administration, inflation has hit record highs. Even more inflationary burdens on the trucking industry would mean that any product transported by trucks would cost more — dealing a blow to the millions of consumers whose food, clothing, and other commodities are delivered by truck.

If the Biden administration was allowed to proceed with this rule, consumers would be bulldozed by significant increases in costs. During a period of high inflation and supply chain disruptions, the last thing this country needs is more expensive freight costs and fewer truckers.

That’s why I introduced my legislation to overturn the administration’s regulation, and that’s why I’m proud that it passed the Senate. My job is to look out for regular Nebraskans, not a power-hungry executive branch. My resolution is now headed to the House of Representatives, where I’m optimistic that the Republican majority will get it passed.

The Biden administration is yet again trying to push through a rule that sounds nice but has wide-ranging negative implications for real Americans. My resolution will stop this rule in its tracks — before it has the chance to damage the livelihoods of truckers and consumers across our country. I hope President Biden comes to his senses and stops pursuing politically-charged and ineffective regulations.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

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