Opposition mounts to putting truck fuel economy under EPA

Truck dealers and owner-operators are two trucking interests already aligned to oppose a U.S. Senate bill that would nullify fuel-economy rules established by Congress under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007

Truck dealers and owner-operators are two trucking interests already aligned to oppose a U.S. Senate bill that would nullify fuel-economy rules established by Congress under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007.

The Senate bill – S. 1733, the “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act" – would transfer the authority for determining fuel economy rules for medium- and heavy-duty trucks from the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In a letter to Secy. of Transportation Ray LaHood, the American Truck Dealers, a division of the National Automobile Dealers Assn., and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. (OOIDA) said they oppose the proposed Senate legislation because it would give EPA authority to set fuel economy standards without considering the impact on the economy as well as on other factors.

"Under EISA, fuel economy standards must be economically practicable, meaning that the Secretary must consider such important factors as job loss, consumer choice ... and the health of the U.S. truck industry,” the groups said in their joint letter to LaHood. “Congress mandated that the Secretary take these important considerations into account because it would not serve the nation's interests to set fuel economy standards that ignore these critical economic factors.”

ATD chairman Kyle Treadway, owner of truck dealership Kenworth Sales Co. in Salt Lake City, said there is no reason for transferring the regulation of truck fuel economy from DOT to EPA.

“DOT has been regulating fuel economy for more than three decades. EPA has been regulating fuel economy literally since last week,” Treadway said. “It makes no sense to throw away all of DOT's expertise at a time when the trucking industry can least afford it. If the legislation passed, the result could be unaffordable fuel economy standards for truck buyers.”

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