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Pingree, Matsui, Calvert, Pence Lead Legislation to Reduce Diesel Emissions, Improve Air Quality

Today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), and Greg Pence (R-Ind.) introduced the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2023. The bill would reauthorize the DERA program through fiscal year 2029 at the current level of $100 million annually. 

In 2005, Congress enacted the original Diesel Emissions Reduction Act through the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The DERA program is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and uses federal funding – distributed through grants and rebates – to leverage state and other non-federal funding to finance the voluntary replacement or installation of retrofits on existing heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines. DERA program funding has been a critical tool to get old, inefficient diesel engines off the road and replaced with newer American-made technology. Congresswoman Matsui has long been a champion of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, leading previous reauthorizations in 2016, 2017, and 2019.

“Diesel fuel powers Maine’s boats, ferries, buses, construction trucks, agricultural equipment, and more, but diesel emissions have serious, harmful impacts on public health and the environment,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “As Ranking Member of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, I’ve long supported funding for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) to reduce air pollution and boost our transition to clean energy. By helping repower vehicles across Maine and the country, DERA grants are vital to achieving net-zero emissions—a critical milestone we must meet in our effort to mitigate the climate crisis.”

“Every American deserves to breathe clean air and live in a healthy environment,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “The road forward is clear: we need to embrace common sense solutions, cut our carbon emissions and transition to cleaner options. That is why I have long fought for programs like DERA that bring us together to reduce air pollution and protect our future. DERA continues to be a win-win-win – and the steadfast, broad bipartisan support for the program reflects its vast success. DERA creates American jobs, protects our environment, and generates up to thirty dollars in public health benefits for every dollar spent. I’m proud to have once again spearheaded this reauthorization and I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”

“I have been a longtime advocate for the DERA program because of the tangible health benefits it provides to our communities, especially those in southern California with high truck traffic,” said Congressman Calvert. “Every dollar we invest in the DERA program is leveraged with investments by the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and state and local governments. In the end, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the total lifetime value of all DERA investments since the program’s inception has resulted in more than $8 billion in health-related benefits. I want to thank Rep. Matsui for her support to help improve air quality and protect the health of American families.”

“Replacing older diesel engines with newer, made-in-America technology will not only help improve our air quality, but will also grow our economy,” said Congressman Pence. “The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act supports good-paying, domestic manufacturing jobs and will bring innovation to Indiana’s sixth district and our entire nation. I am proud to be the co-lead on this important piece of legislation and I want to thank Congresswoman Matsui for all her hard work on this bill.”

Original co-sponsors of the legislation include Reps. Rob Wittman (R-VA) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY).

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