Trucking Associations Voice Support for National Fuel Efficiency Standards at EPA/NHTSA Hearing
The trucking industry reaffirmed its support of national fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for heavy- and medium-duty trucks yesterday in testimony presented in Chicago at the first of two public hearings conducted by EPA and NHTSA. Speaking on behalf of ATA and the Illinois Trucking Association (ITA), ITA Associate Director Randy Thomas said the trucking industry is pleased to see that the rules address four of ATA’s six proactive recommendations for reducing the trucking industry’s carbon footprint contained in its 2008 Sustainability Plan – namely reducing GHG’s and improving fuel efficiency by reducing and governing truck speeds; decreasing idling; implementing national fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that are both economically and technologically feasible; and using off-the-shelf technologies verified under SmartWay to increase fuel efficiency. Thomas went on to state that while the trucking industry supports the proposed rules, the industry continues to carefully review the rules to identify and avoid any unintended consequences that may result. The proposed standards, announced by EPA and NHTSA on Oct. 25, will be phased-in and will achieve from 7 to 20 percent reductions in GHG emissions and fuel consumption from 2010 baseline Class 8 tractors. These targets, which will be achieved from both engine and truck advancements, will largely employ off-the-shelf technologies such as low-rolling resistance tires, improved aerodynamics, reduced idling, and other measures. Incremental cost increases for combination tractors are projected to be $5,900 in 2014 while other truck categories are expected to see minimal price increases in the range of $200-$400 per vehicle. Trailers are not currently being addressed in the proposal. The Massachusetts Motor Transportation Association, in conjunction with ATA, will submit written comments prior to the next EPA/NHTSA public hearing, scheduled for Nov. 18 in Cambridge, Mass.