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For Immediate Release, October 25, 2010

Contact:  Kassie Siegel, (760) 366-2232 x 302,

Proposed Fuel Efficiency Rules a First Step in Reducing Dangerous Greenhouse Gas Pollution From Trucks and Buses, But Don't Go Far Enough

WASHINGTON The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation today released the first-ever proposal to control greenhouse gas pollution and improve fuel efficiency for medium and heavy-duty vehicles. While curbing greenhouse gas pollution from these vehicles is an historic step (they typically average less than 10 miles per gallon), the proposal falls short of what is technologically and economically feasible.

“These trucks and buses produce about 20 percent of total greenhouse pollution from the transportation sector, so it’s imperative that we reduce their emissions. Today’s proposal is a critical first step, but it doesn’t go far enough and leaves available pollution reductions on the table,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Today’s proposal would reduce greenhouse emissions from three categories of trucks and buses:

  • Tractor-trailers: by 7 to 20 percent compared to the 2010 baseline;
  • Heavy-duty pickups and vans: by up to 10 percent for gasoline vehicles and 15 percent for diesel vehicles by the 2018 model year (12 and 17 percent respectively if accounting for air-conditioning leakage) compared to the 2010 baseline;
  • “Vocational vehicles” including trucks and bus types such as delivery, refuse, utility, dump, transit bus and shuttle buses: by up to 10 percent by the 2018 model year compared to the 2010 baseline. 

The proposal, however, does not require additional pollution reductions that are feasible, including from other technologies already in use or under development.  For example, a recent National Academy of Sciences report found that an over 50% reduction in fuel use from the 2010 baseline could be achieved in the 2015-2020 timeframe from tractor-trailers alone.

Since 1990, the transportation sector has been the fastest-growing source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, 29 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions came from cars, trucks and other transportation sources. Today’s announcement applies to model year 2014-2018 medium and heavy-duty vehicles.

In November 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity, its allies and more than a dozen states won a landmark court victory overturning the Bush administration’s fuel-economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks model years 2008-2011, in part because of the administration’s failure to consider the impact of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

Read more about the Center’s Climate Law Institute and its campaign to curb global warming pollution from transportation.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 315,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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