Trucks Account for Just 4% of Traffic, But 20% of Fuel Use, President Says
President Obama has directed the heads of the U.S. EPA and Department of Transportation to devise a second round of fuel efficiency standards for trucks and buses, and to have the new regulations in place in about two years.
‘We want trucks that use less oil, save more money, cut pollution,’ the president said in Maryland last week.
A first round of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles covers model years 2014 through 2018. The new rules will extend into the next decade.
“Five years ago, we set out to break our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said at an event last week hosted by Safeway at a distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md. “Today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades,” Obama said. “For the first time in nearly 20 years, America produces more oil here at home than we buy from other countries.”
President Obama wants to go further, ordering the heads of the U.S. EPA and Department of Transportation to develop and issue the next phase of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards by March 2016, with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (by March 2015. ‘This second round of fuel efficiency standards will build on the first-ever standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (model years 2014 through 2018), and will reach well into the next decade, just like the President’s successful national car program,’ the White House said.
Less Fuel Means Lower Prices
The president said that while heavy duty trucks account for just 4% of all the vehicles on the highway, they’re responsible for about 20% of our on-road fuel consumption.
“And because they haul about 70% of all domestic freight – 70% of the stuff we use, everything from flat-screen TVs to diapers to produce to you name it – every mile that we gain in fuel efficiency is worth thousands of dollars of savings every year…
“We want trucks that use less oil, save more money, cut pollution,” the president said. He credited the efforts of 23 companies that have joined the National Clean Fleets Partnership to reduce their oil consumption or replace their old fleets of trucks with more fuel-efficient models.
“Collectively,” Obama said, “they operate about 1 million commercial vehicles nationwide.”
“If rivals like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, or UPS and FedEx, or AT&T and Verizon – if they can join together on this, then maybe Democrats and Republicans can do the same,” he said.
“To help our businesses and manufacturers meet this new goal, we’re offering new tax credits, both for companies that manufacture heavy-duty alternative-fuel vehicles and those that build fuel infrastructure so that trucks running on biodiesel or natural gas or hybrid electric technology, they’ll have more places to fill up.”
Safeway noted that it actively collects used cooking oil for the production of biodiesel, that it’s testing liquefied natural gas in five vehicles, and that it’s evaluating dimethyl ether as part of a partnership with Oberon Fuels and Volvo (F&F, June 11, 2013).
Source: White House with Fleets & Fuels follow-up