Committee: Truck fuel standards demonstrate broken reg process

| 9/14/2011

The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee cited the White House’s fuel and emission standards rule for heavy trucks as an example of how a federal regulatory agency can manipulate the process to justify a rulemaking.

Chairman Darrell Issa, R-CA, focused part of a hearing Wednesday, Sept. 14, on the tactics used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to justify the recently issued rule on fuel and emission standards for heavy- and medium-duty trucks.

“The federal regulatory process is broken, being manipulated and exploited in ways that benefit allies of the Obama administration such as environmental groups, trial lawyers, and unions,” Issa stated.

“Regulators have, in too many instances, been willing accomplices in the strategy advanced by outside interest groups to circumvent the oversight and accountability checks in the regulatory process.”

Issa’s committee released a report showing costs that small businesses are forced to bear when new regulations such as fuel standards are issued.

“The business owners and workers who bear the brunt of these regulations are not Fortune 500 executives; they are main street business owners and workers from around the country,” Issa said.

“These firms, their families, suppliers, customers and employees all bear the cost of these new and proposed regulations. For them and businesses around the country, the price is greater than just compliance; it is a hidden tax of uncertainty on our economy.”

OOIDA members are among those who bear the brunt of an aggressive regulatory process.

“It’s something that OOIDA, our members and the trucking community have seen time and time again – whether it’s FMCSA or EPA’s cost-benefit analyses that overstate the benefits and understate the costs of their mandates,” said OOIDA Director of Legislative Affairs Ryan Bowley.

“It’s great to see the leadership of Chairman Issa on this issue,” he said. “The chairman’s efforts to highlight that issue and move forward to reform the regulatory process is good news for truckers.”

Earlier this year, President Obama called for reforms to the regulatory process to lessen economic burdens.

Issa’s committee pointed out that reforms are not likely to come from the agencies themselves and will take an act of Congress to change the laws.

Bowley said regulatory reform bills are in the works and could make their way to the House floor this fall.