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Government Moves to Limit Debit-Card Swipe Fees

The Federal Reserve Board issued a proposed rule to limit swipe fees imposed on retailers when accepting debit card payments. Under the recently enacted financial reform law, the Federal Reserve is authorized to define what are “reasonable and proportional” debit card transaction fees.

Federal Agency Seeks More Wilderness Lands and Off-Roading Restrictions

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) unveiled a regulatory initiative to identify unspoiled backcountry, which can be designated as “wild lands.” SEMA opposes the program since it usurps the exclusive authority of Congress to designate “wilderness.” The designation is consequential to SEMA members that produce equipment intended for off-road activities and their customers, since no motorized activities are allowed in “wilderness” lands.

Help Protect the Industry From Unfair Government Regulation

The SEMA Action Network (SAN) is asking SEMA members to help protect the industry and hobbyists from excessive government regulation. The SAN is the nation’s premiere grassroots enthusiast network in the battle to defeat unnecessarily restrictive government proposals and promote hobby-friendly legislative and regulatory solutions.

Consumer Rebates Available for Installation of Running Boards

Many automakers provide consumer rebates to help seniors install running boards when purchasing a new vehicle. The rebates may range up to $1,000 or even $1,200 for certain vehicle models based on a doctor’s prescription and appropriate paperwork.

SEMA Opposes E15 Waiver and Proposed Rule to Prevent Misfueling

SEMA has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the partial waiver issued last October to permit the sale of gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15) for model-year 2007 and newer vehicles. While issuing the waiver, the EPA confirmed that there was insufficient test data to permit E15 to be used in model-year 2000 and older light-duty motor vehicles. SEMA has consistently voiced concern that ethanol increases water formation, which can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber.

House Panel Urges Forest Service to Reconsider Its Planning Rule

A House Natural Resources Subcommittee held an oversight hearing on the U.S. Forest Service’s draft rule for managing the country’s 193 million acres for national forests and grasslands. Previous versions of the “Planning Rule” have been rejected by the courts in recent years. Among the organizations invited to testify at the hearing was the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC). SEMA has partnered with BRC in opposition to the proposed "Planning Rule" on grounds that it does not adequately protect access for motorized recreation and will be a source of ongoing litigation. 

Government Finalizes Proposal to Double Vehicle Fuel Economy by 2025

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued draft regulations to set fuel economy and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions limits for model year (MY) 2017–2025 vehicles. The fleetwide average will rise from 35.5 mpg at the end of 2016 to 54.5 mpg for MY 2025—a nearly 5% annual increase with slightly lower standards for light-duty trucks.

House Passes Bill to Reduce Regulatory Burdens

The U.S. House of Representatives passed SEMA-supported legislation to reduce the cost of burdensome regulations on business owners and job creators. The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011 would require federal agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis when issuing new rules.

SEMA Action Network Highlights 10 Best and Worst Bills of 2011

As the state legislatures close down their legislative sessions, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) resumes its yearly feature highlighting the best and worst automotive bills of 2011. While some of these bills were enacted into law, many did not make it through this year and could be reintroduced in future sessions. Keep an eye out and get ready to help us support the best and oppose the worst in 2012!

Legislation Introduced to Provide Tax Credit for Retrofit Vehicle Conversion

A bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to provide a tax credit for converting a used gasoline vehicle into a hybrid. The goal of the legislation is to help reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil. Businesses with fleets of vans, trucks and cars would be the primary beneficiaries.
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