By: Jeffrey Klein, Political Buzz Examiner
It seems like a day can’t go by without the Obama administration circumventing Congress and the rule of law–once again using their favorite “tool,”–the Environmental Protection Agency.
Congressional Democrats were unable to affect any legislation that would allow them to regulate the exhaust emissions and fuel efficiency of recreational vehicles and commercial trucks, like it has done since 1978 using CAFE standards on the automobile and light truck market segment.
So now, President Obama has the EPA attempting to use their heavy hand of regulation instead, according to Claudia Cowan’s FOXNews article today.
The new regulations require large trucks and buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 percent, and overhaul engine design, starting with models built in 2014.
As a result, most operators will need to spend thousands [of dollars] upgrading their rigs, or buying new vehicles, whose prices start at $50,000 and go up quickly from there, depending on the model.
In a historic about-face, the large and powerful American Trucking Association is supporting these regulations. “We have never been inclined to be supportive of federal involvement and regulations in our industry,” said Bill Graves, president and CEO of the ATA. “But our experience in this case is one where we have to admit that the federal government did a really fine job of working collaboratively with all partners in this, to come up with what we think is a reasonable and fair rule.”
However, there is a group of independent California truckers, many of whom are also members of the ATA, who see the prohibitive costs for meeting these requirements, particularly as the economy is slow and fuel prices high, as a means to ultimately push them out of business–in favor of cutting their price competition with the large and [many unionized] trucking companies across the nation.
Therefore, they have filed a federal lawsuit to block the EPA from implementing these regulations.
One of the plaintiffs in the suit is Robert McClernon, a small owner-operator from Sacramento, who Ms. Cowan quoted as saying … “With the cost of the new equipment that they’re requiring, and the oversight of the government in every part of my business, I can’t afford to be in business.”
Their lawsuit claims that the EPA failed to make the legally required submission of their [proposed] regulations to the Science Advisory Board, which is a group of top scientists who’ve been empowered by federal law to review [all] new regulations proposed by the EPA, under the Clean Air Act.
The EPA argues [that] it posted all ‘relevant information’ on its website, providing access for scientific and peer review.
But, McClernon’s lawyer, Ted Hadzi-Antich with the Pacific Legal Foundation, is not buying the EPA argument, and said, “The government has to comply with the law just like the rest of us do, and when the government’s rule making creates these kinds of economic dislocations for small business, we’re going to make sure we hold EPA’s feet to the fire.”
However, truckers like McClernon contend that the new greenhouse gas rules are less about clean air, and more about the big trucking fleets pushing smaller operators out of the way.
“This is using the government as a bully pulpit to put me out of business, so [the big trucking fleets] can take over and get more market share,” says McClernon.
The ATA’s Bill Graves denies that’s the case, and argues the new regulations will lead to a major goal for the transportation industry–lower fuel costs, saying “The rule is about being more fuel efficient. Over the long haul, this has got to be positive for anybody in the trucking industry.”
This is probably just the tip of the iceberg for situations that have been architected by the Obama Administration, in cooperation with union bosses nationwide, in search of ways to increase union membership–especially if the Democrats are unable to legislate it.
President Barack H. Obama’s behavior and actions as of late, prove that he has a reckless disregard for the United States Constitution, Congress and all American people–whether some know it or not–and will likely stop at nothing to retain his “throne” in the White House.
As Bill O’Reilly would say, these independent truckers and their lawyers are true patriots–for bringing a “Smack Down” to the EPA.
Copyright (c) 2012 by Jeffrey Klein