EPA criticized for ‘torrent of regulation’

May 9, 2024

Mark Schremmer


Senate Republicans used a committee hearing to push back against several mandates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including new standards for light vehicles and heavy-duty trucks.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan testified in front of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works on Wednesday, May 8 to discuss the fiscal year 2025 budget.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., told Regan that she has been disappointed with the direction of the EPA since he became administrator in 2021.

“Given your background in state government, I really held a measure of hope that you would lead the EPA with policies that were grounded in reality … and maintained a healthy perspective of the hard-working American families who work and live under your regulations,” Lummis said. “But that hasn’t happened. What we see from the EPA and this administration is a torrent of regulation that you know will lead to scarcity and higher costs.”

EPA’s emission standards

Earlier this year, the EPA issued final rules that apply new emission standards for light vehicles and heavy-duty trucks.

According to the EPA, the final truck emission standards will avoid about 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emission from 2027 through 2055. The federal government also claims that the heavy-duty industry will see annualized savings of $3.5 billion compared to annualized costs of about $1.1 billion.

Republicans in the House and Senate recently introduced Congressional Review Act resolutions to dismantle the final rules on light vehicles and heavy-duty trucks.

Lummis, a co-sponsor of both resolutions, said the EPA is overstepping with regulations that force the general public and motor carriers to move toward electric vehicles.

“It’s astonishing that the federal government is telling Americans what kind of vehicles to drive and pushing an agenda that doesn’t work outside of major urban areas,” she said.

Opponents of the mandates point to technological concerns, the lack of a charging infrastructure and the cost.

“Wyoming is a rural, high-altitude state of nearly 100,000 square miles with famously harsh weather conditions,” Lummis said. “People in Wyoming frequently drive long distances. My ranch and my farm are 400 miles apart, yet they’re still in Wyoming. Their livelihoods depend on affordable and reliable vehicles. That means a gas or diesel car or truck. The average EV is more than $10,000 more expensive than the average gas-powered car. And they don’t work in altitude. They don’t work when it’s that cold. And they don’t work when you can’t get them charged because there are no charging stations.”

Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., also criticized the EPA’s diesel exhaust fluid regulations.

“You talk about trying to have better fuel efficiency, but the rule you put on diesel trucks – which I drive every day – makes us put diesel exhaust fluid into it. It runs our (fuel) mileage down and actually is worse for the environment,” Mullin said. LL

Land Line Associate Editor Tyson Fisher contributed to this report.