New EPA regs a burden on truckers

President Biden is fond of telling Americans that green energy is the way to go. He even boasted during a campaign stop in 2019 “I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuel.” Folks who worked in oil and gas needn’t worry, according to Biden – renewable energy brings good jobs at good wages.

But what about those whose jobs rely on fossil fuels?

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new regulation aimed at reducing smog-forming emissions from heavy-duty trucks — a mandate that is likely to significantly increase costs for big rigs and for shipping in general, according to RollCall.

What’s worse, a separate rule coming up is aimed at mitigating greenhouse gases from the same vehicles, but the technologies for reducing smog and carbon emissions might not be compatible.

This is the last thing truckers – or people who rely on goods transported in trucks – need.

The EPA’s nitrogen oxide rule takes effect later this month, and requires heavy- and medium-duty vehicles starting in model year 2027 to meet the “most stringent” emissions reduction option first proposed by the agency a year ago.

Small fleet truckers aren’t happy – and they’ve been here before. The EPA tightened emission standards for big trucks 12 years ago, and the effect sideswiped many in the industry.

“We went through all of this in 2011,”  Lewie Pugh, longtime trucker and executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents small businesses and professional truck drivers told RollCall. “Back then, there was a $20,000 price increase on this technology … and there was more trouble with those trucks than before. It pushed thousands of small truck drivers out of business.”

Few drivers, higher operating costs – it’s hard to imagine any effect on the economy other than a spike in prices. Just how long does Biden want to keep the inflation ball rolling?

Fortunately, 35 Republican senators are backing a joint resolution that would overturn the rule, saying it  “incentivizes operators to keep using older, higher-emitting trucks for longer” and “would jack up vehicle costs and hurt good paying jobs,” said sponsor Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.

There are electric big rigs rolling out, for those with deep wallets. According to Autoweek, an electric big rig, depending on how it’s configured, can cost two or three times as much as a diesel-powered one.

In its zeal to end fossil fuels, the Biden Administration is putting regulations before workers. As in the case of electric car adoption, folks who can’t afford to go the EV route will run their gas-guzzlers into the ground for as long as they can. The EPA regulation for trucks will make driving an older rig preferable to spending whatever it costs to comply with the emissions mandate.

America needs the trucking industry. As the supply chain gridlock has illustrated, throwing a wrench into the transporting of goods around the country has disastrous effects on the economy.



Similar Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Most Popular