It didn’t gather the blog attention because of other issues this week, but the Obama Administration issued the first mileage standards for heavy duty trucks. These heavy emitters are major contributors both to pollution and climate change. The benefits of the standards are impressive.
The new standards for trucks are expected to result in significant savings and benefits over the lifetime of vehicles built for model years 2014-2018, including:
- Saving a projected 530 million barrels of oil and reducing carbon pollution emissions by about 270 million metric tons.
- Saving vehicle owners and operators an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs.
- Yielding an estimated $49 billion in societal benefits.
- Ensuring long-term savings for vehicle owners and operators above their initial upfront costs - a semi truck operator could pay for the technology upgrades in under a year and realize net savings of $73,000 through reduced fuel costs over the truck's useful life.
Credit where credit is due, the statute allowing these standards was signed by President Bush in 2007. Still, this adds to a very impressive environmental regulatory record for the Obama Administration that will be saving lives for years to come.