One of the biggest changes in the rule will be the regulation of trailers, which is a part of the truck that has not been regulated by the EPA before and is a step removed from the agency’s primary focus of vehicles with engines.
President Obama is expected to soon add emission rules for big-rig trucks to a growing list of regulations to combat the threat of climate change.
The president directed the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new rules for heavy-duty trucks to make them more fuel efficient, while lowering their carbon dioxide emissions to lessen the effects of global warming.
Trucking manufacturers will be looking to see if they are able to meet the standards without driving smaller trucking fleets out of business, according to industry representatives.
The rules will not only regulate the truck and the engine, but are also expected to add new efficiency and emission regulations for trailers that large tractor-trailer trucks haul. One official says it will be a “big rule” that comprises so many components of large trucks that it could easily be broken down into several separate regulations.
The new heavy-duty truck rules will add to the administration’s list of EPA regulations meant to combat greenhouse gas emissions, which includes the hotly contested emission rules for existing power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan. The president has made reducing the effects of emissions on the climate a key part of his second-term agenda. The emissions are considered by many scientists to be a key contributor to manmade global warming.
Both the power plant rule and the forthcoming truck regulations are part of the president’s 2013 Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.
The truck regulations will build upon the first-ever rules that EPA finalized for the heavy-duty sector in 2011 for vehicle model years 2014-2018.
The new rules will be for “post-2018” model years that will seek to reduce petroleum consumption by more than 530 million barrels of oil projected by the first rule, according to the White House. It also will reduce carbon emissions beyond the 270 million metric tons projected under the first standards. The details of the rules have not been disclosed.