Senate Letter Supporting Diesel Emissions Reduction Amendment
June 21, 2005
TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE U.S. SENATE: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region, urges your support for an amendment concerning diesel emissions offered by Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) to H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Support for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2005 (DERA) would help states and communities meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ozone and particulate matter air quality standards that put 495 counties across the nation at risk for being placed in nonattainment. Without federal assistance, many counties will be unable to make infrastructure investments that are needed to provide mobility and other critical services to their communities.
Provisions of DERA would establish voluntary national and state-level grant and loan programs to promote the reduction of diesel emissions. The amendment would help build off of proven state and local programs that use new technology to retrofit or replace older truck engines. The EPA estimates that the proposed program that authorizes $1 billion would leverage an additional $500 million from state and local governments, and it would lead to a net benefit of almost $20 billion with a reduction of about 70,000 tons of particulate matter. This would be a 13 to 1 benefit-cost ratio.
The U.S. Chamber strongly urges a "YES" vote on the Voinovich diesel emissions reduction amendment and will consider using votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual "How They Voted" ratings.
R. Bruce Josten