What: All Issues : Environment : Global Warming : A vote on passage of a Republican amendment to the highway transportation bill (HR 3550) that would have allowed heavy trucks to add air ventilation units weighing up to 400 pounds to their rigs as a way of reducing fuel emissions, but which would place more wear and tear on the road.
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A vote on passage of a Republican amendment to the highway transportation bill (HR 3550) that would have allowed heavy trucks to add air ventilation units weighing up to 400 pounds to their rigs as a way of reducing fuel emissions, but which would place more wear and tear on the road.
house Roll Call 108     Apr 01, 2004
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

Progressives helped to narrowly defeat an amendment to the highway transportation bill (HR 3550) that would have allowed heavy trucks to add air ventilation units weighing up to 400 pounds to their rigs. Specifically, the conservative-backed proposal, offered by Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind.) would have imposed a 400-pound weight limit exclusion for any heavy-duty motor vehicles equipped with EPA-approved "idling reduction technology," which is intended to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. In this way, a driver could park, shut off the engine -- along with its noise, fumes and vibration -- and still stay warm or cool. For the past several years, certain companies have worked with EPA, the Transportation Department and other agencies to perfect independent, on-board power systems that provide the power necessary for big rigs to run the heating, air-conditioning, and other electronic needs, without having to keep their engines running and emitting pollutants. However, as progressives pointed out, there are other units that can be plugged into by big rig drivers at designated locations, which alleviate the need to carry such equipment with them. Progressives also noted that adding that 400-pound technology would have possible wear and tear ramifications for roadways, and suggested that the amendment was designed merely as a handout for Air King, a Pennsylvania based company that builds these portable ventilation units. "There is better technology, does not have the weight, they can plug it in and not put that added weight on the roadway," Rep. James Obsertar (D-Minn.) said. Conservatives did not directly address that charge in advocating for the Chocola amendment, which was voted down 198-228, meaning the 400-pound weight limit exclusion was rejected.

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