The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have recently proposed new emissions and fuel efficiency standards, set to be in full effect by 2018. From the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administaration Fact Sheet:
Our country has two intertwined and critically important needs - to reduce oil consumption and to address global climate change. NHTSA and EPA are proposing the HD National Program to meet these needs by reducing fuel use and GHG emissions from on-highway transportation sources. The effect of these actions will be to improve energy security, increase fuel savings, reduce GHG emissions, and provide regulatory certainty for manufacturers.
Setting fuel consumption standards for the heavy-duty sector will improve our energy security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, which has been a national objective since the first oil price shocks in the 1970s. Net petroleum imports now account for approximately 60 percent of U.S. petroleum consumption. Transportation accounts for about 72 percent of our domestic oil use, and heavy-duty vehicles account for about 17 percent of transportation oil use.
Transportation sources emitted 29 percent of all U.S. GHG emissions in 2007 and have been the fastest-growing source of U.S. GHG emissions since 1990.3 The primary GHGs of concern from transportation sources are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFC). The heavy-duty sector addressed in this joint proposal accounted for nearly six percent of all U.S. GHG emissions and 20 percent of transportation GHG emissions in 2007. Within the transportation sector, heavy-duty vehicles are the fastest-growing contributor to GHG emissions.
The new standards would drastically cut down on the fuel usage of vehicles ranging from tractors and heavy duty pickup trucks, to delivery vehicles. You can see the specific guidelines here.
The NHTSA and EPA are looking for your input. Feel free to voice your opinion by visiting regulations.gov and commenting on Docket No. EPA-HQOAR-2010-0162.
Submitted by Andrew Fatato