America Takes a Step toward Freight Trucks and Buses that Use Less Fuel, Emit Less Pollution

Historic Clean Truck Standards Submitted to OMB Today

June 6, 2016
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

(Washington, D.C. – June 6, 2016) America is on the verge of seeing delivery trucks, buses, and garbage trucks that use less fuel and emit less climate pollution and other harmful air pollution than ever before. 

According to news reports, new Clean Truck standards to improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollution from the nation’s freight trucks and buses were formally submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation. That’s the last step toward finalizing these standards before they are issued by the agencies.

“Strong new Clean Truck standards will help keep Americans safe from climate change and from unhealthy air pollution, will reduce our country’s reliance on imported oil, and will save money for both truckers and consumers,” said EDF’s Jason Mathers. “This is another big step toward reducing climate pollution from our transportation sector – and keeping our families and communities safe from the clear and present danger of climate change. And we can do it with available, cost-effective technologies that will have economic benefits for businesses and for American families.” 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation proposed the historic new measures last June. The standards build on the success of first ever heavy-duty fuel economy and GHG program, which were finalized in 2011 with broad support from truck manufacturers, labor groups, consumers, security groups, and health and environmental organizations.

The standards will apply to the freight trucks that transport the products we buy every day, as well as to buses and school buses, tractor-trailers, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and garbage trucks. (They will not apply to passenger cars and light pickup trucks, which already have their own fuel efficiency standards.) These heavy-duty trucks use more than 125 million gallons of fuel every day and emit nearly 450 million metric tons of climate pollution annually

EDF, together with a broad coalition of stakeholders, has called for a protective cost-effective program that will reduce fuel consumption from heavy-duty vehicles by at least 40 percent by 2025 (over 2010 levels). We estimate that by 2030, with those strong standards, the first and second phase standards together could:

    • Reduce climate pollution by 270 million metric tons each year
    • Cut fuel use by 1.4 million barrels a day by 2030
    • Save an average tractor-trailer owner $30,000 dollars per year in fuel costs

Strong standards will also benefit American families, since some of the savings will be passed on to consumers. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) found that rigorous fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards could save American households $250 annually in the near term, and $400 annually by 2035, on goods and services.  

More than 300 companies have also called for strong final standards during the rulemaking process, including PepsiCo and Walmart (two of the largest trucking fleets in the U.S.), mid-size trucking companies RFX Global and Dillon Transport, and large customers of trucking services General Mills, Campbell’s Soup, and IKEA. Leading truck equipment manufacturers, including Cummins, Eaton and Honeywell, have highlighted technology packages that can cost-effectively meet the proposed standards.

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