Earlier today, President Obama announced new fuel efficiency standards that will save businesses roughly $50 billion between 2014 and 2018 by lowering fuel costs for commercial vehicles. Starting three years from now, work trucks, buses, and other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will be required to meet these new standards for efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.
This program is the first of its kind, and will impact a major contributor to gas consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
In close coordination with industry stakeholders, the administration established these standards as part of a growing consensus about the benefit of such a program. According to the EPA report by the Office of Transportation and Air Quality:
[These standards] have the potential to reduce GHG emissions by nearly 250 million metric tons and save approximately 500 million barrels of oil over the life of vehicles sold during 2014 to 2018, while providing an estimated $35 billion in net benefits to truckers, or $41 billion in net benefits when societal benefits are included.
The President today remarked on the organic development of this new program, which was initiated alongside efforts to increase fuel efficiency for other vehicles:
While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened. We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. And today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium-and heavy-duty trucks.
As an added benefit, the administration expects that lower fuel costs for businesses will lead to lower costs for consumers because transporting goods will be cheaper. And, this program could “spur growth in the clean energy sector by fostering innovative technologies and providing regulatory certainty for manufacturers.”