In 2002, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board promulgated a regulation that incorporates California’s standards for heavy diesel engines — like those in commercial trucks — in perpetuity. As a result, when California adopted a new regulation requiring new engines to meet dramatically more stringent emissions standards and requiring extended warranties, those rules automatically became law in Pennsylvania.
This will have devastating impacts on Pennsylvania companies. For example, Peters Brothers replaces approximately 13 trucks each year, which means they must pay a huge chunk of extra money for warranties the company neither wants nor needs. This added burden alone has the family reluctantly, but seriously, considering buying their trucks in Wisconsin, where they have another hub.
Only the Pennsylvania General Assembly can make law in Pennsylvania, because only the General Assembly speaks for the people it represents, and to whom it is accountable.
“Pennsylvania cannot give away governing power to unelected bureaucrats in California,” said Luke Wake, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “Pennsylvanians should only be governed by their own representatives in the state legislature. No one in Pennsylvania ever consented to be ruled by the California Air Resources Board.”
State regulatory agencies cannot outsource rulemaking authority to government agencies in other states. Doing so subverts democratic accountability to the people and is an affront to our Constitution.
Furthermore, letting California call the shots forces regulations on Pennsylvania citizens and businesses without their input, economic analysis, consideration of alternatives, or debate over whether the new standards are even needed in Pennsylvania.
The case is Peters Brothers, Inc., et al., v. Penn DEP, et al. [https://pacificlegal.org/case/pa-trucking-diesel-carb-standards/], filed in The Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg, PA.
Pacific Legal Foundation
Email: [email protected]