Remember when we talked about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards regarding trucks in model years 2027 and beyond? Well now there are senators seeking to overturn the rulings.
EPA Rule Details and Opposition
As a quick reminder, some of the changes for 2027 models and beyond include:
- Warranties for trucks must be increased from 100,000 to 450,000 miles.
- Useful life limits must be increased from 435,000 to 650,000 miles.
- Reduced particulate matter limit by 50%.
The EPA estimates that the rule will provide $29 billion in net benefits, while detractors state that the burden on the trucking industry will place unnecessary strain on a recovering supply chain.
Thirty-four Republican senators have said that they stand against the rule, and hope that 17 of their colleagues will follow suit so that it can be overturned via the Congressional Review Act.
Deb Fischer, a Republican senator from Nebraska, says that the reason she is leading the charge is because the “aggressive” regulations are counterintuitive and provide perverse incentives to truckers to keep their older trucks for longer, due to the added costs the higher standards will bring to new models. The EPA estimates that the regulations will add $2,300 to the final price tag of a new truck.
With Democrats holding 51 seats in the Senate, it will be difficult for the group of 34 senators to amass the needed majority, as they will need a minimum of two senators to cross party lines in their favor. If those against the new rules can get the votes they need in the Senate, they are more than likely to stop it in the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a slim majority.
One option the EPA can take is to follow in the California Air Resources Board’s footsteps and instead limit the use of older machinery. Ultimately, as older trucks generally favor shorter useful lives than newer, cleaner trucks, the problem will eventually solve itself. In the end the debate regarding these regulations comes down to whether or not the environment can afford to wait for technology’s slow forward march or if it requires government intervention.
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