House sends Fischer’s bill banning EPA emissions regs for heavy-duty vehicles to Biden

The U.S. House of Representatives on May 23 passed legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) that would overturn a regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on heavy-duty vehicle emissions. The bill now heads to President Biden.

“I’m glad to see the House pass our legislation to stop this aggressive Biden regulation because every American consumer will feel the effects of this rule and its price increases,” Sen. Fischer said. “I encourage President Biden to reevaluate his misguided veto threat and sign this bipartisan bill into law.”

The House voted 221-203 to pass Senate Joint Resolution (S.J.Res.) 11, which states that Congress disapproves of the EPA rule, ‘‘Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards,’’ and that the rule shall have no force or effect.

The EPA finalized its rule on new emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles on Dec. 20, 2022 and they cover nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other air pollutants, including particulate matter, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide, according to information provided by Sen. Fischer’s staff, which noted that the EPA rule also would change requirements regarding emission control systems and emission-related warranties.

The EPA’s regulation would make new, compliant trucks cost-prohibitive, actually incentivizing older, higher-emitting trucks to remain in service longer, the information says, and could likely force many mom & pop commercial trucking operations out of business while encouraging larger trucking operations to pass these higher costs onto consumers.

“Raising costs and driving truckers out of business isn’t just bad for the transportation sector — it would be devastating for an economy still reeling from the impacts of inflation,” said Sen. Fischer, who on Feb. 9 sponsored S.J.Res. 11 alongside 33 GOP original cosponsors. U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) on April 6 sponsored the identical House Joint Resolution 53 in his chamber. 

In April, the U.S. Senate approved the resolution by a vote of 50-49, with all 49 Republican senators voting in favor of the resolution, in addition to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

The legislation is supported by numerous groups, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the American Trucking Associations, the Truckload Carriers Association, and the National Tank Truck Carriers, among others.