May 23 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer’s (R-Neb.) legislation to overturn an aggressive EPA regulation on heavy-duty vehicle emissions is headed to President Biden’s desk after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation by a vote of 221-203 today. The regulation would devastate the trucking industry, raise costs for consumers, and incentivize older, less efficient trucks to stay on the road. U.S. Representative Troy Nehls (R-TX-22) led the legislation in the House.
“I’m glad to see the House pass our legislation to stop this aggressive Biden regulation because every American consumer will feel the effects of this rule and its price increases. Raising costs and driving truckers out of business isn’t just bad for the transportation sector — it would be devastating for an economy still reeling from the impacts of inflation. I encourage President Biden to reevaluate his misguided veto threat and sign this bipartisan bill into law,” said Senator Fischer.
Last month, the U.S. Senate passed Senator Fischer’s legislation by a vote of 50-49. All 49 Republican Senators voted in favor of the legislation, in addition to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Senator Fischer, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee, led the introduction of the legislation in February.
The EPA finalized its rule on new emissions standards for heavy duty vehicles on December 20, 2022. The rule’s new standards cover nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other air pollutants including particulate matter (PM), hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide (CO). The rule would also change requirements regarding emission control systems and emission-related warranties.
The EPA estimated that the technology required to meet the new rule’s standards will cost between $2,568 and $8,304 per vehicle. The American Truck Dealers Association estimates it is more likely a $42,000 increase per truck. In total, the EPA projects the associated costs of this new regulation on the country could reach $55 billion over the lifetime of the program.
The EPA’s regulation would be challenging to implement and make new, compliant trucks cost-prohibitive. By increasing the cost of a new truck, the regulation actually incentivizes keeping older, higher-emitting trucks in service longer. It would also likely force many "mom & pop" commercial trucking operations out of business while encouraging larger trucking operations to pass these higher costs onto consumers.
Adding new financial burdens on the trucking industry would increase the cost of any product transported by trucks, including food, clothing, and other commodities.
A one-pager on the legislation can be found here.
A recap of stakeholder support can be found here.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.
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