trucks on the highway Photo: Fleet Owner

OOIDA warns against EPA’s ‘next big rig crackdown’


The Owner-Operator Drivers Assn. (OOIDA) spoke out about money earmarked for what it calls EPA’s “next big rig crackdown” in the Environmental Protection Agency’s $8.3 billion 2013 budget.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told a joint panel of two congressional subcommittees Tuesday that the budget includes cash slated for the agency’s “first-ever carbon pollution and fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks.”

The EPA reached agreements last year with heavy-duty truck manufacturers to mandate the nation’s first fuel economy standards for trucks. The standards will first take effect for model year 2014 trucks. EPA budget language shows the agency is poised to develop “a second phase of greenhouse gas regulations in fiscal year 2013,” according to OOIDA. According to the budget, this second phase will incorporate a complete vehicle approach and will bring a wider range of advanced technologies, including hybrid vehicle drivetrains.

The budget language is EPA’s first acknowledgement that the agency is already moving toward round two of greenhouse gas regulations “before the ink is really dry on rules that went into effect last September,” Ryan Bowley, OOIDA director of legislative affairs, said in a Land Line report.

“Some out there want this next round of regulation to tell truckers what kind of trailer they can hook to their tractor,” Bowley said. “At the end of the day these regulations — especially for a small-business trucker fighting for every dime he or she makes — now mean small business truckers are fighting additional government mandates that greatly affect their bottom line.”

“You’ve got an industry where the average expense for fuel is 70% of a motor carrier’s expenses — and then EPA comes out and basically makes the argument that this is needed because truckers aren’t concerned about reducing their fuel mileage without government help.” Bowley said.

OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Joe Rajkovacz told Land Line that the EPA’s aggressive regulating of emissions of heavy-duty trucks is yet another example of the agency’s overzealous efforts to control an industry “based largely on bogus science.”

“Round two will not only significantly increase truck prices further but also target regulations on trailers, increasing those prices as well,” Rajkovacz said. “This is huge government overreach under the false guise of protecting the environment.”


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