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Republicans Seek To Scrap New Emissions Rule For Heavy-Duty Trucks

Republican senators are looking to reverse a new stricter rule on the emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles, arguing that the new regulation would make trucks more expensive and raise supply-chain costs.

The group of 34 Republican lawmakers, led by Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska, are calling for congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relating to ‘‘Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards’’.  

The new standards, finalized in December last year, are the strongest-ever national clean air standards to cut smog- and soot-forming emissions from heavy-duty trucks beginning with the model year 2027, the EPA said at the time.

The new standards are the first update to clean air standards for heavy-duty trucks in more than 20 years, and are more than 80% stronger than current standards, according to the EPA. Compared to current rules, the new standards also increase the useful life of governed vehicles by 1.5–2.5 times and will yield emissions warranties that are 2.8–4.5 times longer.

The rule is part of the Biden Administration’s Clean Truck Plan, aimed at moving America’s polluting heavy-duty trucking fleet towards low-carbon and electric technologies.

“These rigorous standards, coupled with historic investments from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will accelerate President Biden’s ambitious agenda to overhaul the nation’s trucking fleet, deliver cleaner air, and protect people and the planet,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in December.

Now the Republican Senators are challenging the rules. Republicans have a slim majority in the House and Democrats have a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Per the Congressional Review Act, a simple majority vote in Congress can reverse rules that have been recently finalized.

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The new “aggressive” emissions rule by the EPA will provide an incentive to “operators to keep using older, higher-emitting trucks for longer,” Senator Fischer said, as carried by Reuters.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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