EPA’s New Fuel Efficiency Standards: Are the Truck Drivers Ready?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes new fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks. According to the agency, the revision of standards is beneficial. It aims to reduce carbon pollution, fuel costs, and oil consumption while strengthening energy security and encouraging manufacturing innovation.
Medium and heavy-duty trucks account for up to 20 percent of all the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and oil consumption in the country; about five percent of vehicles on the road, the EPA says. According to many environmental advocates, if these unwanted emissions and excessive oil consumption continue, our environment would be in great danger in upcoming years.
“Trucking is set to be a bad actor if we don’t do something now,” says Jason Mathers, head of the Green Freight program at the Environmental Defense Fund.
The Benefits of the New Proposed Standards
EPA claims that there’s nothing to worry about, albeit they’ve been expecting some concerns or complaints from the transportation sector. Nevertheless, they explained that the new regulations are expected to:
- Cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by approximately 1 billion metric tons
- Reduce fuel costs by up to $170 billion
- Lessen oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels
Economists are surprised to know that the said “reductions” of carbon pollution, fuel costs, and oil usage are almost equal to the GHG emissions associated with power consumption by all the country’s residences in a year. What’s more interesting is that the total oil savings under these new regulations are estimated to be greater than a year’s worth of U.S. imports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The U.S Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx commented, “Once upon a time, to be pro-environment you had to be anti-big-vehicles. This rule will change that.” He continues, “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.”
The adoption of these proposed standards are not scheduled until 2027. For truck drivers, owner-operators, and truck manufacturers, there is some potential risk since the outcome is still uncertain. However, EPA claims that the proposed standards are cost effective for all businesses and consumers. Even though these new regulations are expected to add around $12,000 to $14,000 to meet the manufacturing expenses of a new heavy rig, EPA assures that the costs will be regained after 18 months by fuel savings.