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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation have announced the first national standards intended to reduce green house gas emissions while improving fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks and other large vehicles, including construction equipment.
The proposed standards will reduce green house gas emissions by about 250 million metric tons and save 500 million barrels of oil in the program’s first five years, according to the EPA.
“These new standards are another step in our work to develop a new generation of clean, fuel-efficient American vehicles that will improve our environment and strengthen our economy,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
Greater fuel economy will shrink fuel costs for small businesses, shipping companies and cities and towns with pickups and heavy duty vehicles, she said. “Those savings can be invested in new jobs at home, rather than heading overseas and increasing our dependence on foreign oil.”
Starting with 2014-model heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, the agencies are proposing standards that would reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles that run on gasoline by up to 10% and on diesel by 15% by 2018.
Regulators are projecting $41 billion in net benefits over the lifetime of model year 2014 to 2018 vehicles. With the potential for significant fuel efficiency gains ranging from 7% to 20%, drivers and operators could expect to net significant savings over the long term.
For example, the EPA estimates that the operator of a semi truck could pay for the technology upgrades in under a year, and save as much as $74,000 over the truck’s useful life.
Regulators have announced a 60-day comment period. For the proposal and information on how to submit comments, go to: www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regulations.htm and www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy .
For more information, e-mail Matt Watkins at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8327.