Dealers oppose heavy-truck fuel economy amendment

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The National Automobile Dealers Association and the American Truck Dealers announced their opposition to an amendment to the Global Warming Bill that would strip the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of its authority to regulate fuel economy for heavy-duty trucks and give that authority to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

NADA on May 18 sent a letter to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee, and ranking member Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) objecting to the amendment to H.R. 2454. The letter pointed out that Congress less than two years ago delegated regulation of heavy-duty truck fuel economy to NHTSA.

NADA’s letter also stated that the process Congress established to regulate heavy-duty trucks could proceed only once studies by the National Academy of Sciences and NHTSA were completed, ensuring the economic consequences of heavy-duty fuel regulation would be considered thoroughly. The committee’s action discards the process Congress established and orders EPA to begin regulating fuel economy by the end of 2010, NADA stated.

ATD says it believes it makes no sense to give EPA the authority to regulate the fuel economy of heavy-duty trucks. EPA has no experience regulating fuel economy, and NHTSA has been regulating fuel economy for more than three decades, according to ATD.

The amendment, offered by Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Baron Hill (D-Ind.), is expected to see a vote by the House this summer.