EPA Emissions Rule and Trucks

Congress Votes to Overturn Tougher EPA Truck Emissions Rule

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Congress passed a bill trying to override an EPA rule that would dramatically tighten emissions limits for heavy-duty trucks. The White House, however, has said the president would likely veto the legislation. (DTN file photo by Mary Kennedy)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Congress on Tuesday voted to overturn a new Biden administration rule setting tougher emission standards for heavy-duty trucks that would affect the costs of trucks for farmers and other industries.

Using the Congressional Review Act, the House voted 221-203 on Tuesday to rescind the rule, following a 50-49 vote in the Senate last month. The bill heads to President Joe Biden's desk, but the White House has stated the president will veto the bill.

EPA in late December announced tighter rules on smog emissions from trucks that are as much as 80% higher than current rules. The rules are set to start on 2027 models and would affect most heavy-duty vehicles from F-250 pickups to semi-trucks.

Congress pushed back on the standards with Republicans united against the rule and just enough Democrats in each chamber siding with the GOP to back the bill. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., cited that the rule would raise the costs of larger pickups by more than $2,500 and increase the price of semi-trucks by at least $8,300.

"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. I encourage President Biden to reevaluate his misguided veto threat and sign this bipartisan bill into law," Fischer said.

The EPA's regulation would be challenging to implement and make new, compliant trucks cost-prohibitive. By increasing the cost of a new truck, the regulation actually incentivizes keeping older, higher-emitting trucks in service longer. It would also likely force many "mom and pop" commercial trucking operations out of business while encouraging larger trucking operations to pass these higher costs onto consumers, Fischer's news release stated.

In releasing the rule, EPA stated the higher standards would lower nitrous oxide emissions as much as 48% by 2045, lower benzene emissions 28% and reduce carbon monoxide by 18%. EPA cited the higher standards would reduce cases of childhood asthma.

A veto by the president would require two-thirds votes in both chambers for the legislation to override the rule.

EPA issued a related proposed rule in April to tighten emissions for lighter-duty vehicles well, including most pickups. That rule, also expected to start in 2027, is expected to push more consumers to buy electric vehicles. By 2032, EPA estimates EVs would account for 67% of light-duty vehicle sales, mainly pickups. And 46% of sales for new larger medium-duty panel vans would be EV as well.

Also see, "Biden Emissions Rule Would Affect Pickups, Heavy-Duty Vehicles Farmers Rely On," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Chris Clayton