Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air, commended the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for awarding $30 million to clean diesel projects as part of the EPA's ongoing campaign to reduce harmful air emissions and better protect public health. This money will be leveraged with state, local, and industry dollars to help replace, retrofit or repower thousands of older school buses, trucks, locomotives, vessels, and other diesel powered machines. In 2010, Sen. Carper joined former Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) in championing the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) which was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. DERA provides funding to encourage the retrofitting of old diesel engines to reduce harmful emissions.
"Replacing and retrofitting our nation's dirty diesel engines saves lives, creates jobs and grows our economy," said Sen. Carper. "Our nation relies heavily on diesel power to transport commuters, harvest our crops, and build our infrastructure. Compared with traditional gasoline engines, diesel engines made today are more fuel efficient, have a longer life span and, with the proper technology, have fewer emissions. Unfortunately, our nation has millions of older, dirty diesel engines that will be in use for decades to come. Emissions from these dirty diesel engines negatively impact our health and accelerate climate change.
"This essential funding from the EPA will help to incentivize owners and businesses to replace and retrofit their dirty diesel engines, which will help clean our air and support high-quality American jobs. At a time when our country is looking for ways to create jobs, reduce healthcare costs and clean the environment, supporting clean diesel stands out as a prime example of what works. That is why I will continue to support clean diesel programs like the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act and the Clean Construction Act of 2011 which create 'win-win' opportunities that encourage the reduction of harmful emissions and create good paying jobs."
DERA is considered one of the most cost-effective federal programs, averaging more than $13 in health and economic benefits for every $1 in funding. Since funding started in 2007, DERA to date has funded more than 3,000 projects nation-wide, improving thousands of vehicles and engines, and providing cleaner air for Americans throughout the nation, saving thousands of lives.