Truckers warn of potential supply chain problems due to Biden EPA’s latest electric vehicle regulations

President Biden's proposed policies will crush the supply chain and put the American food supply at risk, American trucking officials warn.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
American truckers have issued a warning about the Biden administration's plans to reduce air pollution by cracking down on heavy-duty vehicle emissions, saying that President Biden's proposed policies will crush the supply chain and put the American food supply at risk.

Under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which aims to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and other pollutants by enacting stringent new regulations on heavy-duty vehicles and machinery, businesses will be subjected to unattainable standards which will result in high inflation and put trucking companies out of business, American trucking officials warn.

Mike Kucharski, vice president and co-owner of JKC Trucking, told Fox News that the Biden administration's proposal will reportedly push small business trucking companies out of business, which amount to 95 percent of the industry. He warned that the EPA regulations will restrict transportation capacity nationwide, and result in severe price inflation "worse than we have right now," which will be passed on to consumers.

The American Truck Dealers Association (ATDA) believes the regulations will result in a $42,000 increase per truck, rather than the EPA's estimate of $2,568 to $8,304 per vehicle for the technology needed to fulfill the new standards. Over the course of the program, the ATDA estimates that the associated costs of this new regulation will cost American taxpayers $55 billion. 

"A new clean diesel long haul tractor typically costs in the range of $180,000 to $200,000," Kucharski told Fox News. "A comparable battery electric tractor costs upwards of $480,000, that's about a $300,000 upcharge, [which] is cost prohibitive for the overwhelming majority of motor carriers." 

"This mandate is based on brand-new technology, number one, and they're supporting green energy. I support green energy, but it's extremely frustrating because it's this new mandate that they are forcing... truckers are nonstop overregulated," he added. "The EPA's always pushing more and more regulations on us, and it's harder to do our job now. We're kind of sick of it, the administration and EPA jamming it down the truckers' throats." 

Kucharski said that modern-day EVs are not a practical means of efficient transportation, and the new regulations will significantly increase transit time due to the limited charge of electric trucks.

"The charge of an electric truck is about 10 hours and the distance could be about 150 miles to 300 miles," Kucharski said. "To give you an idea right now, one of our diesel trucks, when it fills out 300 gallons, it has capacity to go 1,600 to 1,800 miles...It's just going to take the transit time and increase it. With new technology, the distance should be as much as we have now, if not even further."

"These regulations are not practical," he added. "Number one, costs, two, infrastructure - we're not ready for the infrastructure. Three, the testing and data - they're just doing the testing on these trucks right now. I really haven't even driven an electric truck or seen one in person." 

Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), told Fox News that the proposed "radical" EPA regulations are yet another attack on small business truckers and is meant to force consumers to ditch their gas-powered vehicles for electric.

"This newest announcement is a blatant attempt to force consumers into purchasing electric vehicles while a national charging infrastructure network remains absent for heavy-duty commercial trucks," Spencer said. "Professional drivers are skeptical of electric vehicle costs, mileage range, battery weight and safety, charging time and availability."

"It’s baffling that the EPA is pushing forward with more impractical emissions timelines without first addressing these overwhelming concerns with electric commercial motor vehicles," he added. "The pursuit of this radical environmental agenda in conjunction with an anticipated speed limiter mandate will regulate the safest and most experienced truckers off the road."

Since truckers represent the foundation of the American supply chain, Kucharski argued that the government must draw lessons from the effects of the Covid pandemic.

"So we don't get into this same situation, we have to learn from our mistakes, learn from Covid," he said. "I say we need to sit down with the lawmaker, lawmakers need to sit down with us, so we can show them our problems, so we can come up with solutions together to keep the wheels rolling and feeding the American people."

Kucharski blasted the Biden administration for pushing regulations forward without considering the needs of truckers, the supply chain, or the American people.

Deb Fischer, Republican senator of Nebraska, put forth a resolution that would have prevented the EPA mandate. It was approved by the Senate in April and the House in May, but shortly after, Biden used his veto power to veto the measure. 

Similar worries about the requirements were voiced in a letter to the EPA from a bipartisan group of lawmakers in July. 
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