The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, signed by President Obama in January, reinstated a previous program created in 2005, which was designed to reduce deisel emissions. The previous program had incentivized modernizing old deisel engines by offering national and state grants. The DERA, as signed this year, should help to continue reducing emissions, while helping spur economic growth (deisel engines power 95% of commercial vehicles in the U.S.).
The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act aims to reduce emissions from existing diesel engines by through a voluntary national and state-level grant and loan program. Emissions from older vehicles that use diesel could be reduced between 20-90% by using retrofit technology. The EPA has estimated that if the act is fully funded, it would reduce emissions by 70,000 tons, generate almost $20 billion in revenue, and return $13 of benefit for each dollar invested.
H.R. 5809 passed in 2010 which amended the Energy Policy Act. Basically the Energy Policy act regulates and puts restrictions on how much diesel can be emitted. H.R. 5809 takes those restrictions away. My guess is that is was costing too much money to regulate and at a time of monetary need, these programs were reduced or put on pause until the economy allows for extra funds.
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