New Truck Emissions Standards a Strong Start

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–May 21, 2010.  President Barack Obama is announcing today that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are setting the first-ever emissions standards for medium and heavy duty trucks starting in 2014 and will begin the next round of standards for cars and light trucks for 2017 and beyond.

Statement of Carl Pope, Chairman of Sierra Club

With the oil disaster in the Gulf showing us of the true cost of our oil dependence, we applaud President Obama for this historic announcement to improve the fuel economy of trucks.  We urge the administration to set the strongest standards to drive us towards an oil-free energy future.

We need to end our dependence on oil as quickly as possible and the steps the President announced today will help us move us closer to that goal while also cleaning the air we breathe.

After cars and light trucks, freight trucks are the second largest consumers of oil – burning more than 2.4 million barrels per day and growing.   Right now these trucks only average 6 miles per gallon–a number that has remained virtually unchanged since the 1970’s.

We are thrilled that the administration is moving forward with the next round of standards for cars and light trucks.  Setting standards for vehicles for the longer term is needed to push old technology out and bring in the new.  We are pleased that California is joining with EPA and NHTSA in looking at technology, continuing its critical leadership in setting a high bar for reducing vehicle greenhouse gas pollution.

For heavy duty trucks, these standards are a great start, but it is important to begin moving more freight by rail.  This will yield the greatest savings in both oil and global warming pollution.

As part of the plan to end our oil dependence, we are also calling on President Obama to issue a presidential moratorium on offshore drilling. We already have the technology to create a clean, 21st century transportation system that will end our addiction to oil. We’ve been talking about getting off oil for decades. The disaster in the Gulf is a wake up call. It’s time to get off oil and on to clean energy.