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NewsPolitics & Government

Grassley, Ernst Urge Biden Admin to Choose Less Burdensome, More Affordable Emissions Rule

EPA’s decision could have a drastic impact on Iowa truckers, auto dealers and jobs

On behalf of Iowa auto dealers and truck drivers across the country, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) are working to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from placing overly burdensome emissions regulations on commercial motor vehicles. As inflation continues eating into Americans’ pocketbooks, overbearing regulations would increase trucking costs – further driving up the price of goods and services for consumers.

In March, the EPA proposed a rule that provides two options for reducing tailpipe nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from commercial motor vehicles. Option one drastically aims to reduce 90 percent of NOx emissions by 2031, which would be costly to the trucking industry and risk thousands of good-paying jobs. Option two aims for a 75 percent reduction in NOx emissions by 2027 and later, which would be far less burdensome on truckers.

The senators’ letter urges the EPA to move forward with option two, providing flexibility for Iowans to adequately plan for the costs associated with the rule. If the EPA chooses to move forward with option one, the ruling will increase costs for equipment – disincentivizing Iowans from entering the trucking industry and harming the already strained supply chain.

In their letter, the senators write: “We urge you to finalize a rule that is technologically achievable, acceptable, and affordable to American customers who haul freight and work from these trucks…Estimates show that Option 1 would raise the price of heavy-duty diesel trucks by an average of $42,000, as well as increase operating costs and likely cause a ‘pre-buy, no-buy’ scenario that would harm the market.”

Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.) Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) also signed the letter.

The text of the letter is as follows:

The Honorable Michael S. Regan
Administrator
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460

Dear Administrator Regan,

In March, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule entitled “Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards.” This proposed rule provides two options for reducing the remaining 1-2% of tailpipe nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from medium- and heavy-duty commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) for model years (MY) 2027 and later. The proposal also discusses reopening EPA’s Phase 2 CMV greenhouse gas (GHG) rule. Of the two proposed options, “Option 1” aims to reduce NOx emissions 90% by 2031, and “Option 2” aims to reduce NOx emissions 75% overall for CMVs MY 2027 and later. We urge EPA to utilize the achievable and customer acceptable “Option 2” and to consider any new CMV GHG mandates in a separate Phase 3 rulemaking.
“Option 1” is a burdensome proposal that would impose excessive costs on new CMVs and lead to a decrease in truck sales, ultimately diminishing fleet turnover and increasing the age of the on-road fleet. Estimates show that “Option 1” would raise the price of heavy-duty diesel trucks by an average of $42,000, as well as increase operating costs and likely cause a “pre-buy, no-buy” scenario that would harm the market. The trucking industry has already prioritized healthier communities by deploying newer, cleaner, and safer CMVs. “Option 1” would place that priority at risk, along with thousands of well-paying jobs in Iowa and across the nation.
In addition, reopening EPA’s very aggressive Phase 2 CMV GHG rule, jointly issued with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, would be inappropriate, given that EPA is already developing a new Phase 3 CMV GHG program for rollout as early as MY 2030. In addition to raising serious lead-time and regulatory certainty concerns, reopening the Phase 2 CMV GHG rule would place an unsustainable burden on CMV manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers who together are devoting tens of billions of dollars to comply with Phase 2’s already very challenging targets and the NOx standards discussed above.
We know EPA is committed to issuing a new CMV NOx rule by year’s end. We urge you to finalize a rule that is technologically achievable, acceptable, and affordable to American customers who haul freight and work from these trucks. “Option 2” would assist CMV fleet turnover which would help achieve drastic NOx emissions reductions. Additionally, we do not support undermining regulatory compliance and revising the existing Phase 2 CMV GHG rules that were jointly issued by EPA and DOT. Thank you for your consideration.

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