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Roberts asking Senate to denounce Obama standards for big trucks

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at 10:43 a.m.

Sen. Pat Roberts announced Thursday that he will ask the Senate for a “resolution of disapproval” objecting to President Obama’s plan to impose fuel-efficiency standards on midsize and large trucks.

Obama announced this week that he is directing federal energy, environmental and transportation agencies to develop new mpg standards for large trucks by March 2016 in an effort to save fuel and reduce pollution. The standards for big trucks are set to follow 2012 regulations to improve mileage and reduce pollution in passenger cars and light trucks.

Roberts, R-Dodge City, said the president is overstepping his authority and “once again thinks he is an automaker and a member of Congress.”

“Instead of letting the markets determine what kinds of trucks are produced, the president is doing it and in the end, it will be the consumer and the taxpayer who pay for it,” Roberts said in a statement. “I have already heard from many Kansans worried about this announcement increasing the price of trucks they need for their businesses.”

In his speech Tuesday announcing the move toward new standards for heavy trucks, Obama pointed to what he said were successful efforts to improve mileage on light vehicles.

“For anybody who said this couldn’t be done or that it would hurt the American auto industry, the American auto industry sold more cars last year than any time since 2007,” Obama said. “And since we stepped in to help the automakers retool, the American auto industry has created almost 425,000 new jobs.

“So we raised fuel efficiency, helped consumers, helped improve air quality, and we’re making better cars than ever and the automakers are hiring more folks again for good jobs all across the country.”

Reach Dion Lefler at 316-268-6527 or dlefler@wichitaeagle.com.

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