The Biden Administration Issues Toughest Restrictions Yet on All Diesel-Burning Trucks -
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The Biden Administration Issues Toughest Restrictions Yet on All Diesel-Burning Trucks

The Biden administration has officially issued long-awaited regulations aimed at reducing emissions from heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses. This move marks the latest action in President Biden’s ambitious climate agenda.

The Environmental Protection Agency revealed the updated regulations on Friday morning, asserting that they set the toughest greenhouse gas emissions standards to date.

These rules will take effect starting in 2026 for vehicles from the model year 2027 onwards, gradually tightening until the model year 2032. This progression will compel a greater number of trucks and buses to transition to zero-emissions within this timeframe.

“EPA’s standards complement President Biden’s unprecedented investment in our workers and communities to reduce harmful emissions, while strengthening our manufacturing capacity for the transportation technologies of the future,” said White House Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi.

“By tackling pollution from heavy-duty vehicles, we can unlock extraordinary public health, climate, and economic gains,” he continued

“In finalizing these emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and buses, EPA is significantly cutting pollution from the hardest-working vehicles on the road,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

“Building on our recently finalized rule for light- and medium-duty vehicles, EPA’s strong and durable vehicle standards respond to the urgency of the climate crisis by making deep cuts in emissions from the transportation sector,” he added.

In total, the EPA stated that the ambitious standards will prevent a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and provide $13 billion in annualized net societal benefits, including improvements in public health, climate resilience, and business savings.

The agency asserts that these regulations will set the heavy-duty vehicle industry on a “trajectory for sustained growth.”

The updated regulations encompass both short-haul and long-haul tractor-trailer trucks, as well as vocational trucks such as delivery trucks, garbage trucks, school and public transit buses, concrete trucks, and fire trucks.

Previously, the EPA anticipated that by 2032, electric models could make up 50% of vocational trucks, 35% of short-haul tractor-trailers, and 25% of long-haul tractor-trailers produced.

According to the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, which represents the top manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles globally, less than 1% of new truck sales in the United States are zero-emissions.

“With the climate crisis underway and many of our communities facing unprecedented fires, droughts and floods, it’s crucial that truck manufacturers get into the fast lane with zero-emission trucks to deliver the climate, health, and economic benefits we deserve,” said Katherine Garcia, director of the Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign.

However, the trucking industry and energy producers quickly opposed the announcement, contending that it would result in increased expenses for trucking companies.

“Small business truckers, who happen to care about clean air for themselves and their kids as much as anyone, make up 96% of trucking,” said Todd Spencer, president of Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, an organization that represents more than 150,000 members across all 50 states and Canada.

“Yet, this administration seems dead set on regulating every local mom-and-pop business out of existence with its flurry of unworkable environmental mandates,” he added.

In a joint statement, Chet Thompson, President and CEO of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, and Mike Sommers, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, urged Congress to immediately overturn the regulations. They also declared their readiness to pursue legal action against the administration regarding the rule.

“This is yet another example of the Biden administration’s whole-of-government effort to eliminate choices for American consumers, businesses and industries, there is significant uncertainty regarding the technological and infrastructure capability to comply with this rule, which may threaten the speed and cost of goods moving throughout the country,” Thompson and Sommers said.

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