Coalition Letter Opposition to the California Air Resources Board In-Use Locomotive Regulation

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Re: Opposition to the California Air Resources Board In-Use Locomotive Regulation Docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2023-0574 

We, the undersigned individuals and representatives of national organizations and think tanks representing millions of taxpayers and consumers, write to express our strong opposition to the  California Air Resources Board (CARB) rule regarding diesel locomotives. As advocates for  accountable and responsible governance, economic opportunity and prosperity, consumer welfare, and  taxpayer protection, we believe that this regulation sets a dangerous precedent for American commerce  and consumers. This will have negative consequences that are not restricted to California. Therefore, we  urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject the Clean Air Act (CAA) waiver request. 

CARB’s recent mandate for diesel locomotives, as reported in various media outlets including National  Review, The Wall Street Journal, and Washington Examiner, is deeply concerning. The new rules would  put in place emissions standards that are both unreasonable and unworkable. CARB’s unilateral  imposition of unachievable and unrealistic technological requirements on locomotive manufacturers  threatens to disrupt vital supply chains and transportation links on which American consumers and  industry rely. Their rule will exacerbate delays and disruptions and increase inflationary pressures. 

CARB’s failure to engage productively with the industry or their millions of customers during the  drafting of this onerous mandate demonstrates that the rule prioritizes politics over practical public  policy. A lack of industry dialogue has highlighted the infeasibility of CARB’s proposed rule due to  significant resource and technological challenges. 

Freight rail locomotives play a crucial role in hauling commercial cargo and industrial products across  vast distances efficiently and safely. American freight railroads are recognized as the cleanest and safest  means of long-haul transportation in the nation. Yet, CARB continues to target the rail industry with  unparalleled regulations. 

The primary concern with CARB’s rule is its imposition of deadlines and standards that exceed current  technological capabilities. Reputable institutions, such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute, The  Heritage Foundation, and Washington Legal Foundation, have emphasized the technological  infeasibility of CARB’s emission mandate. Such unrealistic requirements place an excessive burden on  manufacturers, railroads, and suppliers. This will hinder economic growth, stifle supply chains, and  threaten innovation and investment. 

Additionally, the CARB regulation mandates railroads deposit significant funds into a California-created  and California-managed account. This diverts crucial resources away from capacity enhancements,  infrastructure upgrades, safety and service projects, and technology improvements. Redirecting as much  as 20 percent of annual investments into one account threatens the ability of railroads to invest in their future, especially when it comes to equipment, service, and the workforce.

Furthermore, approving this California rule would set a troubling precedent of federal acquiescence to  state overreach. Allowing individual states to dictate nationwide standards undermines regulatory  consistency and creates a patchwork of conflicting regulations that will only serve to hinder interstate  commerce in freight rail, an already over-regulated industry. Unelected bureaucrats and regulators in  California should not be able to dictate national supply chain standards or transportation policy for the  rest of the nation. 

Ultimately, the negative impact of this CARB rule on commerce and consumers cannot be overstated. It  will drive up labor, production, shipping, and supply chain costs. This will create higher prices for goods  and services for consumers of goods reliant on rail transportation. At a time when the federal  government is focused on driving down inflation, this is the last thing the administration should consider  or approve. 

We urge the agency to reject CARB’s request for a CAA waiver, and instead advocate for a more  balanced, collaborative, and scientific approach. Protecting communities and the environment need not  require burdensome regulation. Rather, a sensible approach would engage industry stakeholders, foster economic growth, promote innovation, and protect taxpayers and consumers. 

Thank you for your consideration of this critical issue. 


David Williams 
Taxpayers Protection Alliance 

Melissa Melendez 
Director of State Chapters & Executive Director for  AFPI-California 
America First Policy Institute 

Douglas Holtz-Eakin 
American Action Forum* 

Phil Kerpen 
American Commitment 

Steve Pociask 
President & CEO 
The American Consumer Institute 

Tom Pyle 
American Energy Alliance 

Richard Manning 
Americans for Limited Government 

Marc Marie 
Regulatory Policy Fellow 
Americans for Prosperity 

Ryan Ellis 
President & CEO 
Center for a Free Economy 

Craig Rucker 
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow 

Patricia Patnode 
Research Fellow 
Competitive Enterprise Institute 

Matthew Kandrach 
Consumer Action for a Strong Economy 

Yaël Ossowski 
Deputy Director 
Consumer Choice Center 

David H. Safavian 
Executive Vice President and General Counsel

David Wallace 
FAIR Energy Foundation 

Phillip L. Bell 
Director of External Relations 

George Landrith 
Frontiers of Freedom 

James Taylor 
The Heartland Institute 

Cameron Sholty 
Executive Director 
Heartland Impact 

Ryan Walker 
Executive Vice President 
Heritage Action

David R. Henderson 
Hoover Institution, Stanford University* 

Andrew Langer 
Institute for Liberty 

Tom Giovanetti 
Institute for Policy Innovation 

Ike Brannon 
Jack Kemp Foundation* 

Alfredo Ortiz 
Job Creators Network 

Charles Sauer 
Market Institute 

Patrick McLaughlin 
Mercatus Center, George Mason University* *Organization listed for identification purposes only

Pete Sepp 
National Taxpayers Union 

John Tamny 
Parkview Institute 

Karen Kerrigan 
President & CEO 
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council 

Stephen Moore 
Unleash Prosperity Now 

Norm Singleton 
Senior Fellow 
U.S. Policy 

James L. Martin 
60 Plus Association 

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis 
60 Plus Association