Like Holly, I suppose it’s a good thing that EPA has — finally — proposed new rules for fuel efficient and greenhouse gas emissions from medium and large trucks. But I remain highly skeptical that even these rules — as weak and tardy as they are — will ever see the light of day. Once again, the administration’s attempt to be reasonable is going to turn it into Charlie Brown kicking the football.
Recall that these are not actual rules, but only proposed rules; they must go through a year of notice-and-comment rulemaking. And if the GOP takes over the House, they will make sure to work with the truckers to water them down even further. Here are the nut grafs from the New York Times report on it:
The standards proposed by the administration, after extensive consultation with manufacturers and trucking companies and a detailed review by the White House Office of Management and Budget, are significantly less ambitious to keep costs manageable, officials said.
The American Trucking Associations praised the approach, saying that allowing manufacturers and truck users to find ways to meet defined new mileage standards was preferable to imposing a fuel tax or a broad program for reducing carbon dioxide emissions on the entire transportation sector. The group said that it was withholding more detailed comment until it studied the proposed regulations.
You know what’s coming next. The American Trucking Association, after the administration bent over backwards to satisfy its concerns, will suddenly find new problems with the rules, regret that the administration is proposing “job killing regulations,” and sue EPA as soon as they promulgate a final rule. Lucy would be proud.