Today, the trucking industry and those who monitor the trucking industry were waiting for President Obama’s official announcement that there would be new federal regulations in the fuel economy standards for commercial trucks.
It’s not that the regulations are a big surprise; the President would debut the final result of a long governmental process to implement new ways to maximize fuel efficiency in big rigs, semis, tractor trailers, and other commercial trucks riding American roadways. However, a national tragedy has changed things.
President Obama’s Announcement of Precedent-Setting Fuel Regs for Trucking Industry Has Been Cancelled
Sadly, the White House notified those attending the Virginia meeting of the Engine Manufacturers Association/Truck Manufacturers Association that President Obama would not be attending their event in order to make his official announcement of this precedent-setting series of regulations. Instead, he will be traveling to travel to Dover Air Force Base with a Washington delegation, where they will honor and pay their respects to the 22 Navy SEALS, 5 Army crewmen, and 3 airmen that died July 30, 2011, in an helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
The crash goes on record as the single deadliest incident for the United States military since 2011, when the Afghanistan conflict began. It is also the largest death toll in the history of Special Ops, the U.S. Special Operations Command (which oversees military elite units, e.g., the SEALs, the Green Berets, the Rangers, etc. ).
New Fuel Economy Regulations Unprecedented
Regardless of the President’s understandable unavailability in Virginia, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) went forward today with their formal announcement that the United States will now have federal regulations in place that are designed to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from medium and heavy-duty truck engines that power the nation’s trucking industry.
Working together with advocacy groups, trucking interests, and others since May 2010, the two federal agencies jointly built a final federal rule that is now federal law. It is an unprecedented federal action in the trucking industry, that will force truck manufacturers to lower carbon-dioxide emissions for commercial trucks and buses by as much as 20% by 2018, and it mandates that more fuel-efficient truck engines be available in the marketplace by 2014.