trucking16Last Tuesday, President Obama issued an Executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to begin work on a new round of fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

The administration timeline calls for draft regulatory language to be ready by March 2015, with another year for review and implementation.

The trucking industry, which worked with the Obama administration on the original truck fuel efficiency standards that took effect Jan. 1, is both generally supportive and cautiously optimistic about the latest proposal.

According to ATA President and CEO Bill Graves.

We stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the president and his administration in 2011 when the historic first fuel efficiency standards were set for heavy-duty vehicles. As we begin this new round of standards, ATA hopes the administration will set forth a path that is both based on the best science and research available and economically achievable.

ATA has drafted a set of guiding principles for evaluating future emissions standards. Those principles include harmonization with existing California Air Resources Board rules, economic and scientific feasibility and a recognition of trucking’s diversity in the use of equipment.

ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, S.C., who was on hand to greet the president as he stepped off the platform, adds that

Trucking is a very diverse industry. As such, whatever standards the administration sets should reflect that diversity and whatever tests are devised should accurately reflect what drivers face on the roads every day.

The ATA notes that it has also pushed for sustainability alternatives, including a national speed limit of 65 miles per hour, increased participation in SmartWay for fuel efficiency, improving truck productivity and reductions in idling.

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