semi truck

Darrell Issa, tree hugger.

Just kidding. Issa, the House Oversight Committee Chairman, recently sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency questioning why the California Air Resources Board was influential in drafting last year's heavy-duty-truck greenhouse-gas emissions standards, Truckinginfo reported.

Issa (R-Calif.), who gave the EPA until today, July 5, to respond to a list of questions, took issue with the fact that CARB appeared to have more influence than a number of other non-federal entities, according to the publication. Issa also said the new rules would place undue costs on independent truckers who'd need to upgrade their rigs in order to meet the new standards.

Last August, the Obama Administration announced the first-ever fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses. Under the mandate, semis are required to cut fuel consumption and average greenhouse-gas emissions 20 percent by 2018, while heavy-duty pickups and vans had to reach a 15-percent decrease and buses and other vocational vehicles a 10-percent reduction.

The standards will reportedly cut oil consumption by 530 million barrels and reduce fuel costs by $50 billion during the life of trucks built between 2014 and 2018.

Issa's no stranger to taking the administration to task on issues related to transportation-related fuel conservation efforts. This January, Issa criticized the administration's support of General Motors' efforts to make and sell the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicle and took issue with the length of time it took for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to reveal details of a post-crash-test fire involving a Volt.