Though Congress has been (self-)stymied on climate change this term, the Obama Administration has taken steps of its own to deal with rising U.S. carbon emissions. And nowhere have they been more aggressive than in promoting—mandating, really—better fuel efficiency on our roads, as I wrote earlier this month.
Now for the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) will extend fuel efficiency requirements to the long-haul trucks, heavy-duty pickups and buses that account for 20% of the transportation sector's fuel use, even though they only make up 4% of the vehicle on the road. The proposed new rules are complex, because trucks and other heavy vehicles are divided into a number of different categories, but this is roughly the way the regulations will break down, from the DOT.
You can read the entire draft analysis in PDF form here. But in a conference call with reporters today, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and DOT Secretary Ray LaHood made the case that the new regulations—which will be available for comment—will pay dividends that go beyond greenhouse gas emissions reductions. "This will be win, win, win," said LaHood.