Long introduces bipartisan bill to decrease diesel emissions

U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) is the lead original cosponsor of a bipartisan bill that would reauthorize a federal emissions-reducing competitive grant program for diesel-powered engines.

The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2019, H.R.1768, sponsored on March 14 by U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), would reauthorize the law, which provides for the deployment of emissions-reducing strategies that advance clean air, healthier communities and environmental protections, according to information provided by Rep. Long’s office.

“Reauthorizing the DERA program is a necessary and common-sense approach to reducing harmful emissions and improving the quality of our air,” Rep. Long said, adding that emissions from long-running, older diesel engines have negatively impacted public health and the environment.

The congressman said the bill would support upgrades to millions of diesel engines operating on the nation’s waterways, rails and roadways.

“Missouri is one of the many states that has benefited greatly from this program, receiving millions of dollars in grant money to upgrade diesel engines to make them cleaner and more efficient,” said Rep. Long. “I look forward to supporting this bill and ensuring its passage in the House.”

Rep. Matsui called H.R. 1768 “a critical piece of legislation” in helping the United States tackle the climate change crisis and would make diesel cars and trucks more fuel efficient.

“We are taking concrete action that will significantly reduce harmful emissions, which will improve the air we breathe and protect public health,” she said. “It’s critical that Congress puts our environment and health first by passing this bill.”   

H.R. 1768 has been referred to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.