Quantcast
Business

Obama Orders Stricter Fuel Efficiency Standards For Big Trucks

Barack Obama is pictured earlier this week. Photo credit: Whitehouse.gov

Trucks on U.S. roads and highways have long needed an efficiency makeover, and President Barack Obama demanded it Tuesday afternoon in Maryland.

Obama said his administration will issue tougher fuel-efficiency standards for delivery trucks by March 2016, The Associated Press reported. Heavy-duty trucks are only 4 percent of the vehicles on the country's roads, but account for about 20 percent of the greenhouse gases that the transportation sector emits into the air.

"For decades the fuel efficiency standards of our cars and trucks were stuck in neutral," the president said. "We're going to double the distance our cars and light trucks can go on a gallon of gas by 2025."

The 2016 order will empower the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop new standards that should be ready for automakers to incorporate into the 2018 vehicle model year. Obama said investing in research to drive down emissions would make the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil, which preserves consumer funds and reduces greenhouse gas emissions—an effect he dubbed a "win-win-win."

He said that the EPA and Transportation heads would partner with manufacturers, states, truckers and autoworkers to come up with a proposal by March 2015.

"Businesses that buy these types of trucks have sent a clear message to the nearly 30,000 workers who build them:  We want trucks that use less oil, save more money, cut pollution," Obama said.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) was among the organizations that supported the president's plan.

“ACEEE strongly supports the president’s work to continue the improvements in heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency initiated through the first phase of standards, adopted in 2011," ACEEE Transportation Program Director Therese Langer said in a statement. "There are major opportunities to further reduce heavy-duty truck fuel consumption while saving truck owners thousands of dollars per year, and the actions announced today will help to ensure that these savings are realized."

So far, 23 companies have joined the National Clean Fleets Partnership, pledging to reduce their oil consumption or replace old truck fleets with more fuel-efficient models. Those companies operate about 1 million commercial vehicles across the country.

"If rivals like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, or UPS and FedEx, or AT&T and Verizon—if they can join together on this, then maybe Democrats and Republicans can do the same," he said.

According to the White House, Obama's first round of fuel efficiency standards for trucks will save $50 billion in fuel costs and 530 million barrels of oil.

Visit EcoWatch’s TRANSPORTATION page for more related news on this topic.

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Portuguese youth plaintiffs, from left to right: Simão and Leonor; Cláudia, Martim and Mariana; André and Sofia. Global Legal Action Network

Kids Harmed by Portugal Fires Reach Key Crowdfunding Goal for Climate Lawsuit

As Portugal reels from its worst wildfires on record, seven Portuguese children have met an important crowdfunding goal for their major climate lawsuit against 47 European nations.

More than £20,000 ($26,400) was pledged by 589 people, allowing the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN)—the nonprofit coordinating the lawsuit—to identify and compile evidence to present to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. GLAN now has a new stretch target of £100,000.

Keep reading... Show less
Flying insects such as bees are important pollinators. Flickr / M I T C H Ǝ L L

German Nature Reserves Have Lost More Than 75% of Flying Insects

A new study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE adds more evidence that insect populations around the globe are in perilous decline.

For the study, researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands, alongside their German and English colleagues, measured the biomass of trapped flying insects at 63 nature preserves in Germany since 1989. They were shocked to discover that the total biomass decreased dramatically over the 27 years of the study, with a seasonal decline of 76 percent and mid-summer decline of 82 percent, when insect numbers tend to peak.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics

Pushing Toxic Chemicals and Climate Denial: The Dark Money-Funded Independent Women’s Forum

By Stacy Malkan

The Independent Women's Forum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has taken money from tobacco and oil companies, partners with Monsanto, defends toxic chemicals in food and consumer products, denies climate science and argues against laws that would curb the power of corporations.

IWF began in 1991 as an effort to defend now Supreme Court Justice (and former Monsanto attorney) Clarence Thomas as he faced sexual harassment charges. The group now says it seeks to "improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty."

Keep reading... Show less
Mladen Kostic / iStock

Toxic Toys? After Nine Years, a Ban on Harmful Chemicals Becomes Official

Phthalates are a particularly harmful type of chemical, used, among a range of other ways, to soften plastic in children's toys and products like pacifiers and teething rings. In response to mounting concern about the serious health impacts of phthalates—most notably, interference with hormone production and reproductive development in young children—Congress voted overwhelmingly in 2008 to outlaw the use of a few phthalates in these products and ordered the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to assess the use of other types of the chemical in these products. After much delay, the CPSC voted 3–2 Wednesday to ban five additional types of phthalates in kids' toys and childcare products.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Wikipedia

Oil Spills Pose Dire Threats to Marine Life

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says oil pipelines have no place in BC's Great Bear Rainforest. Opponents of the approved Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion to the West Coast and the cancelled Energy East pipeline to the East Coast argue pipelines and tankers don't belong in any coastal areas. Research led by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation confirms the threat to marine mammals in BC waters from a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic is considerable.

After examining potential impacts of a 15,000-cubic-meter oil spill in BC waters on 21 marine mammals, researchers concluded most individuals would be at risk and a few local populations wouldn't survive. Baleen whales, for example, are highly susceptible to ingesting oil because they breathe through blowholes, filter and eat food from the ocean surface and rely on invertebrate prey. Oil residue can stick to the baleen, restricting the amount of food they consume.

Keep reading... Show less
Shutterstock

September 2017: Earth's 4th Warmest September on Record

By Dr. Jeff Masters

September 2017 was the planet's fourth warmest September since record keeping began in 1880, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and NASA this week. The only warmer Septembers came during 2015, 2016 and 2014. Minor differences can occur between the NASA and NOAA rankings because of their different techniques for analyzing data-sparse regions such as the Arctic.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Animals

Shocking Photo of Dehorned Black Rhino Wins Top Award

Africa loses an average of three rhinos a day to the ongoing poaching crisis and the illegal rhino horn trade. In 2016 alone, 1,054 rhinos were reported killed in South Africa, representing a loss in rhinos of approximately six percent. That's close to the birth rate, meaning the population remains perilously close to the tipping point.

This year, the Natural History Museum in London awarded photographer Brent Stirton the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year grand title for his grisly image of a black rhino with its two horns hacked off in South Africa's Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Smallholder agriculture in southern Ethiopia. Smallholder farmers are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. Leah Samberg

How Climate Change and Wars Are Increasing World Hunger

By Leah Samberg

Around the globe, about 815 million people—11 percent of the world's population—went hungry in 2016, according to the latest data from the United Nations. This was the first increase in more than 15 years.

Between 1990 and 2015, due largely to a set of sweeping initiatives by the global community, the proportion of undernourished people in the world was cut in half. In 2015, UN member countries adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, which doubled down on this success by setting out to end hunger entirely by 2030. But a recent UN report shows that, after years of decline, hunger is on the rise again.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox