Tougher truck MPG standards proposed
WASHINGTON (June 19, 2015) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have joined forces to propose higher fuel economy targets and stricter greenhouse gas reduction standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
The new vehicle and engine performance standards, which cover model years 2021-27, are expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions by about 1 billion metric tons, cut fuel costs by about $170 billion and reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels during the service life of the trucks sold under the new standards, the EPA and NHTSA said June 19.
“Once upon a time, to be pro-environment you had to be anti-big-vehicles. This rule will change that,” said U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
“In fact, these efficiency standards are good for the environment — and the economy. When trucks use less fuel, shipping costs go down. It's good news all around, especially for anyone with an online shopping habit.”
Early comment on the proposed standards was favorable from both consumer groups and the trucking industry.
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) released the results of a consumer poll the same day the draft standards were issued. Seventy-one percent of those polled favor more stringent fuel economy standards for big trucks, while only 24 percent said they opposed them, the CFA said.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) also expressed support for the standards.
The ATA also supported the Obama administration's first round of fuel economy standards for large trucks, which were issued in 2011, according to ATA President and CEO Bill Graves.
Since then, the ATA has been evaluating the effect of the first standards on the trucking industry, and it is working with the EPA and NHTSA to make sure the industry can effectively implement the newly issued standards, Mr. Graves said.
“Fuel is an enormous expense for our industry, and carbon emissions carry an enormous cost for our planet,” he said.
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