Government bureaucrats frequently spot good ideas being implemented in the private sector, and then try to show they are doing something by mandating that the private sector must do what it is already doing.
The intrusive mind of the tyrant never pauses.
Consider the trucking industry, which is filled with business owners and operators who have a great interest in fuel efficiency and drive-train innovation. Recently, large numbers of truck owners have been installing semi skirts and semi fins on their trucks for fuel efficiency.
The fins and skirts can help save a truck driver hundreds of dollars annually and hundreds of gallons of fuel over the lifetime of a trailer. It is said that a long-haul trucker who invests in such devices can pay for them within eighteen months. See here. Now the EPA is pushing to mandate that all semi trailers have such skirting installed.
Such a mandate would add thousands of dollars of costs to poor operators, and would adversely impact truckers who drive short, slower, or local routes who do not receive much benefit from additional fins and skirts.
A report by the Mercatus Center discredits many of the government’s claims. See here.