House votes to overturn EPA rule; veto expected

May 24, 2023

Mark Schremmer


Following the Senate’s lead, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s stringent emission mandate for heavy-duty trucks.

The resolution passed the House by a vote of 221-203 on Tuesday, May 23. The Senate previously passed Sen. Deb Fischer’s resolution on April 26.

The House vote stuck mostly to party lines except for four Democrats who voted for the resolution and one Republican who voted against. Those lawmakers were Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas; Jared Golden, D-Maine; Vicente Gonzalez Jr., D-Texas; Mary Peltola, D-Alaska; and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.

President Joe Biden has already promised a veto, which would be only his fourth since taking office.

However, Congress’ attempt to stop the EPA mandate echoes the concerns from the trucking industry.

“Truckers care about clean air as much as anyone else but are also on the front lines of the supply chain with over 70% of America’s freight relying exclusively on trucking,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “Mandating equipment that has historically led to major engine reliability issues under an unrealistic timeline will have devastating effects on the reliability of America’s supply chain and ultimately on the cost and availability of consumer goods. We thank Sen. Fischer and Rep. Troy Nehls for their leadership in garnering bipartisan support in Congress to fight EPA’s misguided emissions regulations.”

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.

“If small-business truckers can’t afford the new, compliant trucks, they’re going to stay with older, less efficient trucks, or leave the industry entirely,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said when the rule was released. “Once again, EPA has largely ignored the warnings and concerns raised by truckers in this latest rule.” LL