WASHINGTON, DC – Eighteen-wheelers, school and transit buses, and other large vehicles will be much more efficient and less polluting by the end of the next decade, according to a proposal issued today by the Obama administration. The medium and heavy-duty vehicles covered by the rule account for a significant portion of the nation’s global warming pollution and fuel consumption.
“Anyone who’s ever been stuck behind a truck or bus knows how much they pollute,” said Travis Madsen, Global Warming Solutions campaign director with Environment America. “Today’s action will mean cleaner air and help tackle the climate crisis.”
The draft rule is the latest move by President Obama to curb the pollution fueling global warming, which scientists say is consistent with extreme weather events — from flooding, to heat waves, to drought — that are plaguing regions across the country.
The broad range of larger vehicles, from dump trucks to shuttle buses to large pickup trucks, account for 7 percent of the vehicles on the nation’s roads, but more than a quarter of the pollution.
Passenger cars and trucks remain the largest source of pollution within the transportation sector, and the Obama administration has already required them to go farther on a gallon of gas. That move – which made a host of ever-more efficient autos available to consumers – will save Americans roughly $31 billion annually at the gas pump, and cut pollution equivalent to shutting down more than two dozen coal-fired power plants.
Similarly, advocates have called for a 40 percent efficiency improvement for heavy trucks compared to 2010, which could save semi truck operators $30,000 per yearon fuel, reducing freight costs and helping to lower the price of consumer goods. While Environment America and its allies are still reviewing the rule issued today, it appears to be very close to the 40 percent target.
The draft will be subject to a public comment period before becoming final.
“Making trucks go farther on a gallon of fuel can curb pollution, help save the planet, and save money,” said Madsen. “With public support, today’s action will mean a triple win for clean air, the climate, and consumers.”