The Bush administration Friday officially approved tough penalties for diesel engine makers who do not meet the new emissions regulations that go into effect Oct. 1. The penalties, which run as high as over $12,000 per engine made after Oct. 1 that violates the news standards, are much higher than expected when engine makers signed consent decrees pulling forward the new emissions standards to this October.

The Environmental Protection Agency had signaled earlier in the week that it would not push back the October deadline for cleaner diesel engines, despite pleas from the trucking industry and some Republican lawmakers. Opponents of the new rule say the penalties will be passed along to trucking companies, which can scarce afford higher costs as the nation struggles to climb out of recession when they already operate on razor-thin margins. Many expect truck sales to plummet after Oct. 1, which could hurt many others besides non-compliant engine makers – truck dealers, suppliers, and the people who work for them.
William Canary, president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations, called the rule an “egregious example where our government failed us.”
In a statement issued after the White House rejected a request by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to delay implementation of the new emissions rule, Canary said, “We have been placed in the middle of a dispute between the EPA, the courts, and the engine manufacturers. America's motor carriers should not be used as a laboratory to test unproven technologies. All we want is a diesel engine that has been responsibly tested and one that has been proven to work.”