Rolling resistance bill gains momentum in House

June 30, 2006

The House of Representatives' House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved H.R. 5632, a bill that would require tire manufacturers to provide consumer point-of-sale information on tire rolling resistance.

The bill also would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to "promulgate a rule that will create a national rating system for tire rolling resistance," say Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) officials. The RMA is in favor of it.

"The information provided by this rating system will enable consumers to make informed choices about tires that may help their vehicles obtain better fuel efficiency.

"They also will receive information about tire maintenance, which will help them maximize safety, get more miles from their tires and help save fuel."

As it currently stands, the bill must first clear the actual House of Representatives, says RMA spokesman Dan Zielinksi.

"We had hoped it would happen this week, but (it) got bumped for some procedural reason. We hope that it will be voted on by the House the week after next, when Congress returns from its July 4th recess."

If the bill passes the House, it will move to the Senate. "We will likely advocate for a cleaner preemption provision in the Senate," explains Zielinksi.

The RMA is trying to avoid a "carve-out" for the State of California that exists in the bill. "California passed its own tire efficiency legislation in 2003, and the consumer information portion of that measure would not be exempted under the House legislation."

The measure was introduced by Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL); Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Tom Allen (D-ME).