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TIA calls for rejection of Massachusetts 'energy efficiency' bill

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The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is calling for Massachusetts legislators to reject a bill that would require the state to implement a statewide program to mandate that replacement passenger and light truck tires be as energy efficient as original equipment tires.

The bill "conflicts with federal law, is anti-consumer and anti-business," according to TIA officials.

It would "regulate fuel economy, an authority reserved for the federal government."

It also would "effectively create a 50-state standard since it would be exceedingly difficult and expensive to expect tire manufacturers to identify which tires are only to be sold in Massachusetts."

In addition, "the proposed progam is based on reducing rolling resistance. Section 10 of the TREAD (Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation) Act of 2000 requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) to conduct a rulemaking, which it has done, to review and update its tire standards to address endurance and resistance issues."

The proposed program also would "mandate consumer information requirements. Section 11 of the TREAD Act required NHTSA to conduct a rulemaking to improve the information readily available to consumers about tires. This federal regulation may in fact pre-empt Massachusett's intent to impose addition consumer information rules."

TIA officials say they are "convinced that this is an inappropriate time to go forward with an expensive program that looks to appropriate federal perogatives, adversely affects small tire-related businesses and will ultimately saddle consumers with higher costs."

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