Executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF), Allen Schaeffer, has issued a statement praising President Obama’s reauthorization of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) earlier this week. “While the reauthorization of DERA isn’t receiving the publicity that some other legislative issues attracted, it will be a significant and important accomplishment for the 111th Congress,” Schaeffer said.

“Because of the national importance of modernizing older diesel engines to reduce emissions, DERA is one of the most important clean air initiatives passed by Congress in recent years,” he continued.”

DERA (H.R. 5809) is a five-year reauthorization of the program created in 2005 to establish voluntary national and state-level grant and loan programs to reduce diesel emissions by upgrading and modernizing older diesel engines and equipment.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced on November 18th by Sens. George Voinovich (R-OH) and Tom Carper (D-DE) and co-sponsored by several of their colleagues, including Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK). The House sponsors were Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Laura Richardson (D-CA). [

“DERA is important to our national economic growth because diesel engines power over 95% of our commercial trucks and an overwhelming majority of our ships, locomotives and farm and construction equipment,” Schaeffer said. “In fact, when measured in tons per kilometer, more than 90% of the world’s global trade is diesel-powered.”