Welcome to Biggs' Freedom Fridays
September 21, 2018 – Giving Truckers Choices
What is a “glider truck” and what regulations have been proposed for these vehicles?
A glider truck is a vehicle comprised of a newly constructed chassis, frame, and cab combined with a remanufactured engine and transmission system.
All trucks are subject to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions regulations. However, in 2016 the Obama Administration’s EPA proposed a rule clarifying that gliders must meet the emissions standards for the year in which the vehicle is assembled, not when the engine was manufactured. Only 300 gliders per manufacturer would be exempt from this regulation each year.
What is the problem?
The EPA’s proposed rule would be devastating for the emerging glider industry. It would also hurt drivers, many of whom rely on gliders because they cost about 25 percent less than new vehicles.
Additionally, I am concerned that the glider rule is not justified by credible research. Most recently, a November 2017 study on gliders conducted by the EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL) only tested two vehicles—far from a reasonable sample size. The study was also comprised by communications between EPA and employees at Volvo, a major manufacturer of new trucks.
What am I doing about it?
Last week, I chaired a Science, Space, and Technology Environment Subcommittee hearing on the integrity of the NVFEL study. EPA will likely reevaluate the 2016 glider rule in the coming months, and I will closely follow all further developments.
What are they saying?
"Our members have experienced firsthand how changes to federal trucking policies can dramatically reshape our industry. These policies always place the heaviest burden on small-business truckers and rarely benefit their operations. The current discussion surrounding glider kits perfectly encapsulates this decades-old problem." – Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Article I of the United States Constitution grants Congress exclusive power to write federal laws. This structure allows the American people to hold their elected representatives accountable for the policy decisions they make. Over the years, however, Congress has increasingly ceded power to the executive branch by allowing agencies run by unelected bureaucrats to implement regulations that have the force and effect of law.
In 2016 alone, the Obama Administration published nearly 4,000 new regulations. Compared to the number of laws passed by Congress in the same year, that averages out to 18 regulations for every new law. Aside from the constitutional concerns, these regulations have a significant negative impact on the American economy. When factoring in the federal intervention, uncertainty, wealth destruction, job loss, and overall stifling of entrepreneurship, the 2016 cost of regulations was $1.89 trillion, or nearly $15,000 per household. It is time for Congress to reclaim ownership of its privilege and responsibility to write the laws for our nation. The American people must no longer suffer at the hands of unaccountable federal officials.
During the early months of the 115th Congress, the House and the Senate used the Congressional Review Act to overturn 14 regulations implemented in the waning days of the Obama Administration. It is estimated that the repeal of these rules alone could save the economy millions of hours of paperwork, as much as $3.7 billion in regulatory costs to federal agencies, and up to $35 billion in compliance costs for industry.
We made an excellent start to rolling back the regulatory state, but it absolutely should not end our efforts. My main priority while in Congress is to restore the constitutional parameters of the federal government, including ending overregulation. With that in mind, each Friday, I will highlight a freedom-killing regulation that is currently in effect. Check back here each week for updates and follow along in the “Freedom Fridays” section of my newsletter. If you do not already receive my newsletter, you can sign up here.