Earlier this week, Obama made steps in a new, increasingly muscular and unilateral campaign to tackle climate change. The President ordered the development of tough new fuel standards for the nation’s heavy-duty trucks. These new regulations will be drafted by March of 2015 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Transportation Department.
This limit on greenhouse gas pollution would combine with previous rules requiring passenger cars and light trucks to burn fuel more efficiently. Experts state that Obama’s a la carte approach will allow him to meet his target of 17 percent from 2005-2020.
Even though heavy-duty vehicles account for just 4% of registered vehicles on the road in the USA, they account for approximately 25% of road-fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions coming from the transportation sector. From the Obama administration’s previous efforts of bolstering fuel standards in 2011, the White House projects the country will save about 530 million barrels of oil — more than what is imported annually from Saudi Arabia — and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 270 million metric tons.
“The goal we are setting is ambitious,” Obama said of his plans to set new fuel standards. “But these are areas where ambition has worked out really well for us so far.”
Obama addressed the issue in remarks Tuesday at a Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, MD.