Biden vetoes resolution to block EPA regulation

June 15, 2023

Mark Schremmer


As expected, President Joe Biden used his veto power to block a resolution that would have overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s stringent emission mandate for heavy-duty trucks.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed Sen. Deb Fischer’s resolution by a vote of 221-203 on May 23. The Senate passed it on April 26.

“The resolution would deny communities these health benefits by resulting in weaker emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles and engines, which are significant sources of pollutants that threaten public health,” Biden wrote. “If enacted, the resolution would squander $36 billion in benefits to society — and an opportunity to lead on the defining crisis of our time. Therefore, I am vetoing this resolution.”

The House and Senate do not appear to have the votes for a veto override, which would require two-thirds in both chambers.

The EPA’s final rule was announced by the agency in December and took effect on March 27. The rule would impose strict clean air standards for heavy-duty trucks beginning with model year 2027.

The EPA estimated the technology required to meet the new rule’s standards will cost between $2,568 and $8,304 per vehicle. The American Truck Dealers Association estimates it is more likely a $42,000 increase per truck. In total, the EPA projects the associated costs of this new regulation on the country could reach $55 billion over the lifetime of the program.

Fischer introduced the resolution, contending that the prices of the new vehicles would harm small-business truckers and force many of them “to hold onto their older, higher-emitting trucks.”

The senator called the veto “more than just a slap in the face to truckers.”

“Today, President Biden chose to prioritize his extreme environmental agenda over bipartisan pushback from Congress,” Fischer said in a statement on June 14. “This veto is more than just a slap in the face to truckers, who transport nearly every consumer good. Pushing this excessive regulation forward will also raise prices for families already grappling with inflation. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues on ways to push back against these devastating government mandates.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association supported Fischer’s resolution and will now turn its attention to fighting more “burdensome” requirements from the EPA.

“While we are disappointed in the president’s decision to veto this bipartisan legislation, we thank the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who put politics aside in support of small-business truckers simply trying to navigate wave after wave of EPA regulations,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said in a statement. “As the White House issues their veto, EPA is working to finalize another round of burdensome emission requirements and pushing for electric commercial trucks without any practical concern regarding purchasing costs, mileage range, battery weight, or charging availability.” LL