Senators Introduce Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Reauthorization

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Energy, was joined by Subcommittee Chairman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), EPW Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to introduce legislation to reauthorize the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) through 2021.

“Retrofitting older, diesel engines with American-made technology can provide enormous environmental and public health benefits, while creating jobs here at home,” Senator Carper said. “Unfortunately, there are few direct economic incentives for vehicle and equipment owners to retrofit or replace their old diesel engines. The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, or DERA, is a voluntary program, which leverages federal dollars to incentivize owners and businesses to replace and retrofit their old diesel engines. In 2005, my good friend Senator Voinovich came to me with the idea of DERA, and ever since I have been one of the program’s strongest supporters. Since its inception, DERA has been one of the most cost-effective clean air programs, with an average of $13 in return in health and economic benefits for every $1 put into the program. This program continues to be a bipartisan, commonsense approach to curbing toxic diesel emissions, promoting public health, and spurring economic growth – and I’m proud to be joined by Senator Inhofe, Senator Capito and Senator Boxer on this bill. At a time when our country is looking for ways to create jobs, reduce healthcare costs and clean the environment, supporting clean diesel through DERA stands out as a prime example of what works.” 

“I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in reauthorizing the DERA program which has proven to be a big success,” Senator Inhofe said. “This voluntary program provides federal and state grants to hardworking manufacturers to rebuild diesel engines or install emission reduction systems to diesel vehicles to comply with state and federal emission requirements. In Oklahoma, DERA has been applied to reduce pollution risk in a cost effective way and has been used to replace old school buses and upgrade equipment. DERA not only employs thousands of Americans to sell, manufacture, or repair diesel vehicles, but also cleans up more than 14,000 diesel-powered vehicles throughout our nation.”

“I am pleased to join Senators Inhofe, Carper, and Capito in supporting this legislation to reduce harmful pollution from diesel engines,” Senator Boxer said. “Diesel exhaust threatens people’s health and contributes to asthma, heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.  We must do everything we can to protect children and families from toxic soot and other dangerous substances in diesel exhaust.”

“The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act has consistently proven to be a successful program that works,” Senator Capito said. “This bipartisan legislation aims to improve air quality by enforcing realistic standards that states can follow while simultaneously supporting economic opportunity – a prime example that we can reduce emissions without hindering our already struggling economy. I am proud to join with my colleagues to call for a reauthorization of this program.”

This legislation was first introduced as the Carper-Inhofe amendment #3143 to the Energy Policy Modernization Act on February 3, 2016. To read the full text of the bill, click here.