The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted yesterday to remove truck weight reform language from the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act, also known as the highway bill, in lieu of a three-year study. Thursday’s 33-22 vote was a disappointment to the dairy industry, which is affected every day by transportation policies that do not reflect the needs and demands of today’s commercial environment.
A coalition of dairy industry organizations had sent a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica ahead of the markup. In it, the groups argued that allowing states the option to increase their vehicle weight limits would help American businesses meet demand with fewer trucks, thus removing unnecessary trucks from the highway, lessening dependence on fossil fuels, reducing the country’s carbon footprint, and improving shipping productivity. The success of pilot programs in Vermont and Maine pointed to the safety and economic benefits of truck weight reform.
“We are disappointed by the committee’s vote to remove the truck weight reform language from the highway bill under consideration in the House Transportation Committee,” NMPF President & CEO Jerry Kozak said in a statement. “We need reform now, not after a three year study.”