President Obama Announces New Fuel Efficiency Standards for Trucks

President Barack Obama announced on Tuesday that his administration plans to put in place stricter fuel efficiency standards for trucks in the coming years. According to the President, setting new fuel efficiency standards for trucks and large vehicles is important “so we can keep driving down oil and imports and what we pay at the pump.” Under Obama’s direction, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Transportation Department must issue a new round of fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles by March 2016.

Previously, the Obama administration was able to finalize a set of fuel efficiency standards in 2011 that will, according to the White House, save about 530 million barrels of oil (more than our annual import from Saudi Arabia) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 270 million metric tons. The current standards are directed at truck models being produced from 2014-2018, and require manufacturers to achieve a 20% reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for semi-trucks, a 15% reduction for heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and a 10% reduction for buses and garbage trucks. The Obama administration claims that the reductions will save an estimated $50 billion in fuel expenditures.

While heavy-duty vehicles such as semi-trucks only account for 4% of registered vehicles in the U.S., they are reportedly responsible for 25% of fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.