President Biden on Wednesday vetoed a Republican-led resolution that would have repealed new limits from his administration on emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, saying the measure “would take us backwards in our fight against air pollution.”

In his veto letter, Biden noted that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new restrictions, finalized in December, sought to cut pollution and boost public health, particularly in communities situated along trucking routes where emissions are greatest.

“The resolution would deny communities these health benefits by resulting in weaker emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles and engines, which are significant sources of pollutants that threaten public health,” Biden wrote in his veto letter. “If enacted, the resolution would squander $36 billion in benefits to society — and an opportunity to lead on the defining crisis of our time. Therefore, I am vetoing this resolution.”

Earlier, I vetoed a Republican resolution to repeal an @EPA standard that will make our air cleaner and prevent thousands of premature deaths by limiting hazardous heavy-duty vehicle pollution.

This would take us backwards in our fight against air pollution, so I’m blocking it.

— President Biden (@POTUS) June 14, 2023

Under the EPA’s new restrictions, truck makers must reduce harmful tailpipe pollution from new trucks, delivery vans and buses to 80 percent below the current standard. It was the first time in over two decades that the government sought to crack down on emissions from those diesel-powered vehicles.

The agency estimated the new rule would cut nitrogen dioxide from heavy-duty trucks by 48 percent by 2045, as well as prevent up to 2,900 premature deaths, 6,700 hospital admissions and emergency department visits, and 18,000 cases of childhood asthma by 2045.

“This is a very aggressive action to protect the health of 72 million Americans and people living in these truck freight routes,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan told The Washington Post at the time.

In February, Senate Republicans introduced the resolution under the Congressional Review Act — which allows Congress to overturn rules by federal agencies via a simple majority vote — to repeal those new EPA rules. It narrowly passed the Senate in a 50-49 vote in April, with Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) joining Republicans to support the measure.

The House passed the resolution in May on a 221-203 vote largely along party lines. Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.) voted against the bill, while four Democrats — Reps. Henry Cuellar (Tex.), Jared Golden (Maine), Vicente Gonzalez (Tex.) and Mary Peltola (Alaska) — voted for the bill.

Last month, Biden vetoed a resolution that would have restored tariffs on solar panels imported from certain Southeast Asian countries, saying that the resolution would have undermined his administration’s efforts to create a strong domestic solar supply chain.

Anna Phillips contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

Comments are closed.