The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. heard oral arguments today in challenges seeking to overturn historic, first-generation standards to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large trucks and buses.
The standards apply to vehicles manufactured between 2014 and 2018. They are based on commonsense, highly cost-effective technologies that will make our nation’s fleet of large trucks and buses more efficient — reducing harmful climate-destabilizing pollution, limiting our dependence on foreign oil, and saving money for both truckers (in the form of lower fuel costs) and consumers (in the form of lower shipping costs).
EPA estimates that, over the lifetime of vehicles sold between 2014 and 2018, the standards will:
- Reduce climate pollution by more than 270 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent
- Reduce oil consumption by more than 530 million barrels
- Result in net savings of up to $73,000 in avoided fuel costs over the lifetime of a new long-haul truck.
These cross-cutting benefits engendered broad-based support for the standards, including support from our nation’s truck and engine manufacturers, from states, and from public health and environmental groups.
In response to the President’s announcement of these first generation standards in 2010, many of these organizations sent letters of support. Here are just a few examples:
Cummins Inc. recognizes the benefits for the country of a National Program to address greenhouse gases (OHOs) and fuel efficiency from medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. Cummins fully supports the adoption of such a National Program and welcomes this opportunity to be a partner in helping to advance that goal.
[Daimler] is committed to working with EPA and NHTSA, the states, and other interested parties to help address three of the most pressing issues facing the U.S. today and into the future: greenhouse gas reductions, fuel efficiency improvements, and increased energy security.
As 2015 begins, these clean air measures are now in their second year of effectiveness, and they are driving technological innovations that are cleaning the air and helping American truck manufacturers to thrive.
Through October of 2014, sales of fuel efficient trucks were 20 percent higher than their 2013 levels. 2015 is projected to be even stronger, with forecasts suggesting it will be the third strongest year ever for truck sales.
Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, put it succinctly:
[T]hese standards “are very good examples of regulations that work well.”
None of these truck and engine manufacturers were in court today challenging the first generation truck standards, which are based on rigorous technical information and firmly grounded in the law. The standards are a testament to the fact that collaboration among truck manufacturers, states, and other interested parties can reduce pollution, enhance our nation’s energy security, and save truckers and consumers money.
That is very good news, because President Obama recently announced that EPA and NHTSA will issue second-generation greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for large trucks.
Many of the same companies that stood with the President in announcing a blueprint to develop the second phase standards also collaborated on the first generation clean trucks standards. Among those supporting the President’s announcement of second phase standards included the nation’s major manufacturers and fleets such as Conway, Cummins, Eaton, Wabash National, Waste Management and the American Trucking Association.
When our nation stands together, we can forge big gains in strengthening our economy and protecting our environment.