New Fuel Economy Standards Order Better Mileage For Heavy Trucks

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Fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks has just gotten harder. Those standards actually were extended into the future on Friday. Plus, better gas mileage for heavy trucks will also be enforced for the first time. President Obama ordered the government to step up fuel economy standards, and he had a group of auto and truck executives who support the regulation that were standing right behind him. The president cited the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in his remarks about America’s long-term energy security and national fuel economy standards.

Source for this article: New fuel economy standards order better mileage for heavy trucks

The national fuel efficiency standards

The executive order on national fuel efficiency standards allows Obama to get the ball rolling without having to wait for Congress. Obama’s signature orders the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department to develop new fuel and emissions standards that are more strict than rules formally enacted in April. The rules from April require auto loans to buy new cars that average a minimum of 35.5 miles a gallon by 2016. The president’s new plan also orders more improvements on fuel efficiency in cars and light trucks made in 2017 and also in medium and heavy trucks made from 2014 through 2018. To add to that, Mr. Obama’s directive orders more federal support for the development of new vehicles, such as advanced electric cars, and it instructs the EPA to reduce emissions of other pollutants by motor vehicles .

Automakers want national fuel efficiency standards.

National fuel efficiency standards are wanted by automakers. A state-by-state approach has threatened them ever since California started trying to enforce much higher fuel efficiency standards than the federal government was. The New York Times reports that before the president’s initial policy a year ago, manufacturers were facing fuel-efficiency standards developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in response to Congressional legislation; separate greenhouse-gas standards being developed by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act; and the possibility of separate standards enacted in California and 13 other states.

Truck gas mileage to improve

For a while now, environmental groups have been trying to get some heavy truck standards. The Associated Press reports that even though medium and heavy trucks represent only 4 percent of all vehicles on American highways, they still consume more than 20 percent of the fuel burned on the roads, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental advocacy organization. If trucks get 3.7 miles to the gallon more it would, by 2030, reduce American oil consumption by 11 billion gallons a year, the group said.

Billions saved by better gas mileage

Carbon emissions and energy security will be impacted deeply by better gas mileage standards. Reuters reports that environmental statistics show cars and trucks account for more than 60 percent of oil consumption and more than 25 percent of carbon pollution. Policy director for the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council, David Doniger, told Reuters that better gas mileage for cars and the first-ever efficiency goals for trucks will save consumers billions of dollars in fuel costs.


The New York Times reports

The Associated Press reports

Reuters reports

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