OOIDA issues Calls To Action on speed limiters, greenhouse gas emissions

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | Thursday, August 13, 2015

OOIDA has issued two Calls to Action to members to speak up on two federal proposals – one that would require speed limiters to be implemented on all trucks and one that would force trucks to reduce emissions and get better fuel economy through the use of technology, some of which is unproven.

U.S. senators and representatives are currently on recess and will resume their legislative session after Labor Day. That doesn’t mean those lawmakers are unavailable, and in fact it’s a good time to reach them in their home districts.

The two issues at hand, in addition to a highway bill, are timely and America’s trucking professionals have the opportunity to make a difference in the outcomes of the proposals.

Speed limiters are being pursued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a joint rulemaking. Their proposal is currently at the White House Office of Management and Budget for review.

Emissions and fuel economy standards for heavy trucks have also taken the form of a joint rulemaking by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and NHTSA. The agencies recently unveiled proposed Phase 2 standards that build on emissions and fuel economy targets in a Phase 1 final rule that affects 2014-2018 trucks. Phase 2 calls for additional gains by 2027 involving trucks, engines, drivetrains, trailers and tires.

There’s a public hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 18, in Los Angeles concerning the EPA/NHTSA proposal. More information on that hearing appears below.

OOIDA’s Calls To Action on these two proposed rules are as follows:

OOIDA’s Speed Limiter Petition
FMCSA is pursuing a rulemaking to require speed limiters. This action would provide no safety benefit, but would mandate that your truck be limited to the same speed as large fleets. Please take a moment now to sign the petition at the Fighting for Truckers website so that your representatives will know that you oppose this action: 
fightingfortruckers.com/speedlimiters

EPA/NHTSA Heavy-Duty Truck Fuel Efficiency/GHG Rulemaking
The EPA/NHTSA Phase 2 rulemaking regarding greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards was published recently. While this 2,134 page document is continuing to be reviewed by all stakeholders, it is clear that this rulemaking will affect every trucker. It will limit choices when spec’ing a truck and trailer. It can also lead to the forcing of new and unproven technologies such as waste-heat-recovery systems that add complexity, create even higher costs to the price of a truck, and may lead to more breakdowns.

This is a complex proposal, but OOIDA’s policy staff has broken down the issues and provided you with an easy way to understand them and providing comment to the agencies. There are many groups who will be pushing for the standards to be even higher, with no regard to the reliability or cost of the vehicles, so it is important for truckers to speak out. Visit fightingfortruckers.com/ghgregs to take action on this important issue before the Sept. 17 deadline.

In addition to filing written comments, if you are going to be in the Los Angeles/Long Beach, Calif., area early next week, there will be a public hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 18, beginning at 9 a.m. local time. 

The location is the Westin Hotel, 333 East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA. OOIDA will be glad to assist you in presenting comments if you are able to attend. If you are able to attend please contact Scott Grenerth at 816-229-5791. More info about the hearing can be found here: gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-08-03/pdf/2015-19004.pdf.

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