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Voinovich, Carper, Isakson, Clinton: President Bush Commits $50 Million in 2007 Budget to Diesel Emissions Reduction

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Location: Washington, DC


Voinovich, Carper, Isakson, Clinton: President Bush Commits $50 Million in 2007 Budget to Diesel Emissions Reduction

The President's Fiscal Year 2007 (FY2007) Budget request includes $50 million for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). The President also calls for all diesel reduction programs—including the Clean School Bus USA Program, the Diesel Truck Retrofit and Fleet Modernization Program, and the Engine Idling Reduction Program—to be carried out within DERA. Introduced by Senators George V. Voinovich (R-OH), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Hillary Clinton (D-NY), DERA was developed with the support of over 200 environmental, industry, labor and public officials with the goal of reducing diesel emissions.

VOINOVICH: "I am very pleased that President Bush understands the importance of funding this vital program. The bottom line is that if we want to clean up our air to improve the environment and protect public health, diesel retrofits are one of the best uses of taxpayers' money. The President's commitment will go a long way toward helping states and localities meet the nation's new clean air standards. This is vitally important for Ohio, which has 38 nonattainment counties. While $50 million is a very good start, full funding of this program is sound environmental, economic and budgetary policy. I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act receives the funding it deserves," said Senator Voinovich.

CARPER: "Diesel retrofits are a vital component to any comprehensive clean air plan. While this $50 million budget request represents a good first step toward our goal of reducing the amount of pollution from existing diesel engines, my hope is that we will be able to do more in the future. By incorporating today's clean air technology with yesterday's diesel engines, retrofitting will allow states like Delaware to enjoy cleaner air sooner rather than later," said Senator Carper.

ISAKSON: "I am very pleased President Bush has included funds for this important program, which was drafted in cooperation with environmental, industry and public officials. Diesel emission reductions will help communities, especially in my state of Georgia, attain the new air quality standards, significantly improve the environment and protect public health," said Senator Isakson.

CLINTON: "The budget includes $50 million to clean up pollution from diesel engines such as school buses, bulldozers, trucks and other vehicles. This builds on the Clean School Bus USA program that I helped create. These funds will give New York and other states new tools to protect public health," said Senator Clinton.

By a vote of 92 to 1, the bill was included as an amendment to the Energy Bill. Establishing voluntary national and state-level grant and loan programs to reduce diesel emissions, the bill was signed into law as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law No. 109-58) on August 8, 2005. DERA is pivotal in the effort to clean the nation's air as on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles, such as transit buses and garbage trucks, and non-road diesel vehicles, such as construction equipment and tractors, account for roughly one-half of the nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions from mobile sources nationwide.

In November, over 200 organizations representing a diverse coalition of environmental, industry, labor and public officials sent the President a letter requesting full funding for DERA and that programs like the Clean School Bus USA Program, the Diesel Truck Retrofit and Fleet Modernization Program, and the Engine Idling Reduction Program would be carried out within it.

Coalition Support for Diesel Emissions Reduction Program Funding:

"The President's support for clean diesel retrofit funding is a critical first step, and a victory for the broad coalition of over 200 environmental, industry and government organizations that has called for a new national program. While $50 million is a solid start, we urge Congress to finance this important clean air program at $200 million as originally authorized."

-Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director, Diesel Technology Forum

"The inclusion of $50 million for cleaning up pollution from existing diesel engines in the Bush Administration's proposed budget recognizes the seriousness of the problem of uncontrolled diesel emissions. However, states will need full funding of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) to realize the goal of cleaner air and attainment of air quality standards. We look forward to working with Congressional appropriators to see that DERA is fully-funded to the level authorized."

-Conrad G. Schneider, Advocacy Director, Clean Air Task Force

"This is a good downpayment, but the balance can't come soon enough to protect Ohioans' health from the toll of dirty diesel pollution. Congress should fully fund this important initiative at the authorized level."

-Vicki Deisner, Executive Director of the Ohio Environmental Council.

"AGC has been a proud supporter of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program. We're pleased the President recognizes this shared commitment and the tremendous cost to retrofit construction equipment, and look forward to working to grow the effectiveness of this program."

-Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO, The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)

"Caterpillar enthusiastically supports this initial funding to help our customers retrofit their existing engines with clean diesel technology. This important step will help our environment by reducing emissions while supporting the vital economic role the diesel engine plays in our nation's economy."

-Doug Oberhelman, Group President, Caterpillar

"Cummins enthusiastically supports the President's $50 million commitment to DERA in the 2007 fiscal year federal budget. DERA is truly a win for both the environment and the economy. Fully funding the program will serve as a cost-effective tool for states to reduce emissions, while also promoting domestic manufacturing jobs. The clean diesel engines and emissions after-treatment devices funded through DERA are produced in numerous locations around the U.S. Cummins will continue to work with a broad coalition of environmental and industry groups and Congress to build on the important first step taken by the President today."

-Mike Cross, Vice President, Cummins Inc. and General Manager, Emissions Solutions

"ECTA is very pleased that the Administration has demonstrated its commitment to diesel retrofits by including DERA in its FY 07 budget proposal. We look forward to working with Congressional appropriators to build on the President's initiative."

-Tim Regan, President, Emissions Control Technology Association

http://clinton.senate.gov/news/statements/details.cfm?id=251306&&

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