Sierra Club Welcomes Obama Administration’s Action to Set Fuel Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Standards for Heavy Trucks

WASHINGTON, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–October 25, 2010.  Today the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation announced a proposal to set the first-ever fuel efficiency and greenhouse standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, calling for a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from heavy trucks to start in model years 2014-2018.

Statement of Sierra Club Green Transportation Director Ann Mesnikoff

“The Sierra Club welcomes Administrator Lisa Jackson and Secretary Ray LaHood’s announcement today to set the first-ever fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for heavy duty trucks.  It is critical that we get started and we welcome the Administration’s leadership in ensuring standards are in place starting in 2014.  We also look forward to working with both agencies on final rules for this full range of vehicles that will help break America’s dangerous addiction to oil and reduce global warming pollution.

Americans rely on large trucks and buses every day for their transportation and the delivery of goods across the country. Some heavy-duty vehicles – including 18-wheelers, city buses, delivery trucks, and Class 8 tractor trailers – can cover as much 150,000 miles each year.

The vehicles covered by today’s announcement alone consume 20 percent of all on-road transportation fuel used each year, despite representing only 4 percent of all vehicles on the road.  Unlike passenger vehicles, these vehicles – from large pickups to freight trucks and garbage trucks – have never been subject to federal fuel efficiency or global warming tailpipe pollution standards. And by putting technology to work, the opportunity for significant reductions in oil consumption and pollution is within reach.

The Sierra Club is pleased that the DOT and EPA have made a first step in setting these critical and necessary standards for heavy-duty trucks, but we urge the Administration to aim even higher, and we believe that a 35 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from long haul tractors pulling van trailers by 2018 is possible by setting standards for trailers and additional steps.

Indeed, the recent oil disasters in the Gulf the Kalamazoo River add even more urgency to setting strong standards to curb our dirty and dangerous addiction to oil.

Setting strong fuel efficiency and pollution standards for these vehicles will help break our dirty addiction to oil, increase our national security, reduce pollution, and save truckers and businesses money at the pump.

We look forward to working with the Administration to set the strongest standards possible and make vehicle standards part of a national transportation plan that moves us beyond oil.”