Washington, D.C. – Today, President Obama finalized pollution standards for heavy-duty vehicles, including buses and work trucks, for the years 2014 through 2018—the first-ever global warming pollution standards for trucks. Trucks’ average fuel economy today is a shockingly low 6.1 miles per gallon, increasing the cost of transporting goods for consumers and businesses as well as producing excessive pollution. The standards are set to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon pollution from heavy-duty vehicles, such as the largest pickup trucks and vans, semi-trailer trucks, and other types of work vehicles and buses. The combined improvements have the potential to cut global warming pollution by over 50 million metric tons each year and reduce our dependence on oil by 300,000 barrels daily by 2030. John Cross, Federal Transportation Advocate for Environment America, issued the following response:
“Heavy duty trucks have long been critical to our nation’s economy, but they also carry with them a heavy toll. These vehicles drive more miles than anything else on the road, and they have been doing so without restrictions to the pollution they emit or the oil they burn. Now, with President Obama announcing the first-ever standards to reduce trucks’ oil consumption and global warming pollution, the trucks that move freight across America will also help move us away from oil. We are proud to support this effort.
“We call on President Obama to take further steps toward the crucial goal of getting us off oil. Most notably, we look forward to working with the administration as it develops pollution and fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks through 2025. We applaud the President’s call for these vehicles to meet a standard equivalent to 54.5 mpg by 2025, and we will work to ensure that the integrity of that program is not lost through regulatory loopholes.
“In finalizing standards for heavy duty vehicles, President Obama is making essential strides forward in fuel economy—now we need him to put the pedal to the metal and make the maximum possible pollution reductions and oil savings for cars and light trucks. These combined standards are vital to getting our country off oil, cleaning up the air our families breathe, protecting the waterways we expose to oil spills, and providing consumers relief from the impacts of high gas prices.