As another element to his new climate policy, President Obama has developed new fuel-efficiency regulations for medium and heavy-duty commercial trucks that are set to be enforced by March 2016. This is a move that Obama hopes will lower the US’s reliance on foreign oil and bolster the economy.
Obama has made climate policy a cornerstone of his second term. While environmental groups, and a trucking industry alliance that encompasses the FedEx and Con-way fleets, were happy about the new regulation, small-time truck operators aren’t so ecstatic, as the regulation could affect truck purchases.
The US has 1.3 million trucking companies, and almost 97% have less than 20 trucks in their fleet. New fuel-efficiency regulations are being compounded with new federal laws that restrict truck driving hours, which help to lower chronic fatigue and any connected crashes.
While heavy-duty trucks only make up 4% of highway vehicles, they consume 20% of on-road fuel. Obama has been trying to pass his climate policy through an executive action, since Congress hasn’t been entirely agreeable. The EPA and the Transportation Department would work together to draw up the new regulations.
Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan
April 1, 2014
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