Last week the House Committee on Energy and Commerce adopted an amendment to the "Global Warming Bill" (H.R. 2454) that would move authority to regulate fuel economy for heavy-duty trucks away from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
and give it to the Environmental Protection Agency.

On May 18, the National Auto Dealers Association, the parent group of the American Truck Dealers, sent a letter to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the committee, and ranking member Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), objecting to giving EPA the authority to regulate fuel economy for heavy-duty trucks. 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 only proceed once studies by the National Academy of Sciences and NHTSA were completed, ensuring the economic consequences of heavy-duty fuel regulation would be thoroughly considered. The Committee's action discards the process Congress established and orders EPA to begin regulating fuel economy by the end of 2010.

ATD 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.

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.