President Obama will announce today (Feb. 18) that the federal government will further tighten fuel efficiency for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, according to a White House official, as part of the president’s ongoing effort to use his executive authority to address climate change.
The Washington Post reported that Obama’s directive to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), which he will announce at the Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md., marks the second time he has mandated a cut in fuel consumption and carbon emissions from larger trucks. This category, which encompasses all vehicles weighing more than 8,500 pounds, ranges from large pick-up trucks and school buses to massive 18-wheel tractor-trailers.
An earlier rule, finalized in September 2011, improved the fleet’s fuel efficiency by between 9% and 23%, with the largest trucks experiencing the largest reductions. The Obama administration estimates that those standards, which applied to the model years 2014 through 2018, cost the industry roughly $8 billion but would save truck users about $50 billion in fuel costs over the lifetimes of the vehicles.
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