OOIDA: Do not give EPA power over truck fuel mileage

| 4/12/2010

OOIDA leaders and a national truck dealers group are urging U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to oppose provisions of a Senate bill that would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to set fuel-mileage standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

OOIDA leadership teamed up with the American Truck Dealers division of the National Automobile Dealers Association to urge LaHood to “vigorously oppose” provisions in Senate bill S1733, also known as the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.

The proposal would strip the U.S. Department of Transportation’s jurisdiction over fuel-economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and allow EPA regulators to enforce standards under the Clean Air Act.

“The heavy-duty truck industry has been in a state of economic free-fall since before the Obama Administration came into office. Regulating heavy-duty truck fuel economy under the Clean Air Act, a statute that was neither designed nor intended for that purpose, is a bad idea we urge you to vigorously oppose,” the leadership of OOIDA and the American Truck Dealers stated in the letter dated Friday, April 9.

“The DOT, with over three decades of experience regulating fuel economy under a statute designed for that purpose, should not be stripped of its role at this crucial juncture.”

Back in 2007, Congress required that the DOT account for potential job loss, consumer choice and other economic factors when developing fuel mileage standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

“The Clean Air Act, however, does not similarly compel the EPA Administrator to consider job loss, consumer choice and acceptability, or the health of the U.S. truck industry when setting fuel economy/greenhouse gas standards,” the leadership of OOIDA and the American Truck Dealers stated.

“We urge you to voice your similar support in that regard, and strongly oppose the heavy-duty truck fuel economy provisions in S1733.”

S1733 is currently up for consideration in the U.S. Senate after passing through committee in November 2009. The U.S. House approved a version of the bill last summer.

– By David Tanner, associate editor