A House committee sent a strong message Wednesday that the Environmental Protection Agency should not be in charge of regulating fuel economy and emissions for vehicles in the future including heavy trucks. OOIDA supports the action, saying the EPA’s involvement since 2010 has added cost to new equipment and burdened small-business trucking.
The House Appropriations Committee, voted 26-18 to advance the amendment to the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill offered by U.S. Reps. Steve Austria, R-OH, and John Carter, R-TX.
The amendment is neither anti-fuel economy nor anti-emission control, the sponsors said. It simply removes the EPA from the equation and restores the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as the sole agency in charge of those regulations.
NHTSA had sole control over emissions and fuel economy from 1975 until the Obama administration brought the EPA into the fold in 2010. Fuel economy standards are often referred to as CAFE, which stands for corporate average fuel economy.
Austria said during a markup hearing Wednesday that the EPA has spent $25 million “duplicating” what NHTSA was already doing.
The Austria-Carter amendment, if it survives future votes and becomes law, would remove the EPA from regulating CAFE standards after 2016. It does not affect current regs including the first ever fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks affecting model years 2014-2018.
OOIDA supports the amendment which will go to the full committee before heading to the House and the Senate. The vote on Wednesday is an important first step in the process.
“Today’s vote is a victory for those who want the EPA out of this type of regulatory activity,” OOIDA Director of Legislative Affairs Ryan Bowley said. “It hopefully ends the blank check the agency has had to add costs to small businesses especially truckers coping with rising costs of equipment.”
The amendment is attached to a bill that would reduce the overall EPA budget 17 percent.
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Amendment would block EPA from regulating truck fuel economy