President Obama has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to jointly issue the first fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The new rules will be phased in between model years 2014 and 2018.
“This will bring down costs for transporting goods, serving businesses and consumers alike. It will reduce pollution,” said the President in a special Rose Garden ceremony today, where he signed a “Presidential Memorandum” that, along with other energy policy initiatives, tasks EPA and DOT to create the standards for new commercial trucks.
Administration officials currently estimate that commercial trucks consume more than two million barrels of oil every day, and average 6.1 miles per gallon. They also emit 20% of the greenhouse gas pollution related to transportation.
The government’s preliminary estimates indicate great potential for significant fuel efficiency gains and greenhouse gas emissions reductions for large tractor-trailers, which represent half of all GHG emissions from this sector.
A report released earlier this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Pasadena, CA-based Clean Transportation Technologies and Solutions (CalStart) organization said boosting fuel economy of new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles could create more than 120,000 new jobs nationwide by 2030, while curbing U.S. oil dependence
Using existing and emerging fuel-saving technology, the two groups said the U.S. could save four times more oil on an annual basis by 2030 than the volume expected from expanded offshore drilling in that same year.
[via Fleet Owner]
Photo courtesy of Supermac1961 under the Creative Commons License