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Keep On Trucking, and with Less Pollution, on PA Roads

February 24, 2014- Tom Joseph
HARRISBURG - Big trucks making their way across Pennsylvania will be held to tighter fuel standards in the coming years. President Obama has directed federal agencies to develop higher fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by March of 2016. Peter Shattuck, the director of market initiatives for Environment Northeast praised the environmental rationale for these standards.

"The less energy you use, the fewer carbon emissions are generated, the more savings are produced for businesses; but also, less money (is) flowing out of the region for fossil fuels."

The standards will affect all vehicles weighing more than 8500 pounds, from large pick-up trucks to 18-wheelers. According to the White House, the new rules would build on standards passed in 2011 that already are projected to save vehicle owners and operators $50 billion in fuel costs in the lifetimes of models built from 2014 to 2018.

Just a few years ago, it was estimated that heavy-duty vehicles made up only 4 percent of the transportation sector, and yet accounted for about one-fourth of the road-fuel use and greenhouse-gas emissions from this sector. And ENE's Shattuck predicted the new standards will do what they are intended to, and have an effect on air quality.

"States which are more densely populated and have the links to the Mid-Atlantic region and New York do see some of the heaviest traffic, particularly the I-95 corridor."

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