Leaders of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) joined President Obama at the White House for his signing of a presidential memorandum that directs the US Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop national standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for heavy- and medium-duty trucks.
The president’s announcement effectively endorses the ATA Sustainability Task Force recommendation in 2008 that called for national fuel economy standards for trucks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
ATA Chairman Tommy Hodges and a number of executives of ATA-member engine and truck manufacturers, carriers, and other companies met with Obama in the White House before the signing ceremony and stood behind the President as he signed the memorandum. Hodges for three years has chaired the ATA’s Sustainability Task Force.
Hodges, who is chairman of a trucking company in Shelbyville TN called Titan Transfer Inc, pointed out that a national truck fuel economy standard was one of six recommendations that the Task Force advanced early in 2008 to reduce truck emissions of carbon dioxide.
Obama said products and technologies available today could improve fuel economy by 25% and that the new regulations should be completed in 2011 and go into effect starting with model year 2014 equipment.
“President Obama’s memorandum is an important first step toward improvements that will lower emissions and reduce fuel consumption,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to working with DOT Secretary Ray LaHood and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to develop beneficial, attainable, affordable and cost-efficient standards.”
In the release of its sustainability plan two years ago, ATA announced its support of technologically feasible national fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that cut fuel consumption. Other components of the plan include:
•Federal laws requiring trucks to have speed governors set at 65 mph or below, and a national speed limit of 65 mph for all vehicles.
•Allowing more productive truck weights and combinations, which safely improve fuel economy.
•Expansion of the EPA SmartWay Transportation program, which works to reduce greenhouse gases and save fuel.
•Reducing idling by updating the Interstate system and reducing traffic congestion.
•Using new technologies to reduce other engine idling.
Visit www.trucksdeliver.org for more information about ATA’s sustainability plan.