Seeking to Cut Air Pollution, U.S. Unveils Curbs on Truck Emissions

Federal officials, seeking to reduce air pollution, have announced the first national emissions regulations and fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles.

The proposed regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation are expected to take effect next year after a 60-day period for public comment. The rules would apply to tractor-trailers, buses, delivery vans, heavy pickup trucks, cement mixers and many other classes of vehicles made between 2014 and 2018, giving manufacturers time to prepare.

Officials said the program is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 250 million metric tons and to save 500 million barrels of oil that otherwise would be used by vehicles produced within the program’s first five years. The reduced fuel use is projected to translate into $41 billion in savings.

The announcement underscored how much the EPA is acting unilaterally on greenhouse gas emissions, according to Investors Business Daily. With cap-and-trade stalled in Congress, the agency has moved ahead under a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that gives it authority to enact its own regulations.

That lattitude to act, however, has been challenged in the Senate. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is sponsoring a bill to put a two-year halt on any EPA rules.

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