President Obama issued yet another edict on Tuesday that requires semi-trucks to meet federal fuel-economy standards. And, like other edicts choking coal plants and hiking the federal minimum wage, the little guy will suffer most.
Fuel efficiency is a major concern in the trucking industry. No surprise then, that the truck market — without any federal intervention — has favored diesel engines for decades. Nevertheless, the Trucker-in-Chief has decided that the EPA must now set mpg standards for commercial vehicles just as it does for cars and SUVs as Obama continues his relentless expansion of the regulatory state.
“Improving gas mileage for these trucks . . . reduces carbon pollution even more, cuts down on businesses’ fuel costs, which should pay off in lower prices for consumers,” said Obama at a Safeway store in Maryland. “So it’s not just a win-win, it’s a win-win-win. You’ve got three wins.”
Actually, it’s only a win for politically connected Big Business — and a lose-lose for small truckers and consumers.
Independent truckers have vehemently protested the edict as costly to small business since EPA first announced the proposal in 2011.
“The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and its members are warning that the Obama administration’s proposed fuel-economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks could put the cost of new trucks out of reach for many of America’s hard-working professional truckers,” said the trucking industry’s trade group in a statement today.
The EPA itself estimates that the mpg rules will hike the cost of trucks by nearly $6,000, making it harder for small operators to buy new equipment. Larger operators will pass the costs on to consumers. But most conspicuous in the president’s announcement were Big Business supporters of his unilateral order — companies like Safeway, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, UPS, and FedEx. All operate their own trucking fleets and have been bought off by the Obama White House courtesy of the National Clean Fleets Partnership which provides federal alternative fuel subsidies to these member giants.
Not surprisingly, none of these inconvenient truths was reported by Obama’s media parrots, especially the global warm-mongers at the Associated Press which repeated the president’s spin almost word-for-word.
With the economy limping along, the Obama administration continues to pile regulations on the back of business. The result is fewer jobs, higher costs, and more pain for small business — the very folks the president says he is in office to defend.