Senate Republicans Fail to Block EPA’s Air Pollution Rules for Heavy-Duty Trucks
President Joe Biden had already vetoed the measure the previous week. The Republicans’ attempt to override the veto received only 50 affirmative votes in the Senate, with one coming from traditionally energy-friendly Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), narrowly passed the Senate in April by a 50-49 vote, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) absent. It was later approved by the House in May by a vote of 221-203.
Tougher Standards for Cleaner Air
The EPA’s rule, finalized in December, requires new heavy-duty trucks and engines starting in 2027 to meet stricter emission standards, particularly for nitrogen oxides that contribute to ground-level ozone or smog. This applies to trucks ranging from Ford F-250 pickups to semi-trucks.
The rule is part of the Biden administration’s Clean Trucks Plan, aimed at transitioning America’s heavy-duty trucking fleet to low-carbon and electric technologies.
The EPA estimates that implementing the rule will result in $29 billion in net economic benefits annually, along with significant public health benefits by 2045, including the prevention of thousands of deaths, hospital visits, and cases of childhood asthma.
Concerns Over Costs
However, Republicans remain skeptical. They argue that the additional costs associated with the new technology will burden truckers and ultimately make life harder for average Americans, as nearly all products rely on truck transportation at some point.
The EPA estimates that meeting the new standards will cost between $2,568 and $8,304 per new vehicle, while the American Truck Dealers Association predicts that regulatory mandates could add around $40,000 to the price of a new truck.
“When you force truckers to purchase new, expensive equipment, in the name
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