Arlington, VA – A coalition of national organizations, think tanks and advocacy groups has come together to express strong opposition to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) rule regarding diesel locomotives. In a collective letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these groups, representing millions of taxpayers and consumers nationwide, have outlined their concerns regarding CARB’s proposed emissions standards for diesel locomotives. The regulation is seen as a significant threat to economic prosperity, consumer welfare, and the integrity of national supply chains.

Read the full letter here.

Key Takeaways:

  • CARB’s proposed rule sets unreasonable and unworkable emissions standards for diesel locomotives, risking severe disruptions to vital supply chains and inflationary pressures.
  • A lack of engagement with industry stakeholders during the drafting phase has resulted in a rule prioritizing politics over practical public policy, with significant resource and technological challenges unaddressed.
  • Technological infeasibility: Institutions such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute and The Heritage Foundation highlight that the emission mandates exceed current technological capabilities, burdening manufacturers and threatening economic growth.
  • The mandate requires railroads to divert substantial funds into a California-managed account, potentially limiting investments in crucial areas like capacity enhancements and infrastructure upgrades.
  • Approving CARB’s rule could set a precedent for state overreach, undermining regulatory consistency and hindering interstate commerce in the freight rail industry.

The coalition’s letter underscores the detrimental impact that CARB’s rule would have on commerce and consumers nationwide, potentially leading to higher prices for goods and services reliant on rail transportation. At a time when the federal government seeks to mitigate inflation, such regulation could exacerbate economic challenges.

The organizations involved call on the EPA to reject CARB’s request for a Clean Air Act waiver for its diesel locomotive regulation. They advocate for a balanced approach that considers such standards’ economic implications and technological feasibilities. A more collaborative process involving industry stakeholders is essential to foster innovation, promote economic growth, and protect the interests of taxpayers and consumers. The EPA’s decision in this matter is critical in ensuring the sustainable growth of the freight rail industry while safeguarding environmental and public health standards.

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