The Senate Transportation Committee has sent a bill to the full Senate that would create, for the first time, fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Specifically, the fuel economy standard requires a 4% miles-per-gallon improvement each year beginning in 2011.
The bill, as proposed, would expand the Sec. of Transportation’s authority to prescribe fuel economy standards for passenger cars, and light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks. It also provides the Secretary the flexibility to lower the annual 4% improvement rate bar if it is determined it is not cost-effective or technically feasible.
The medium- and heavy-duty component of the Senate fuel economy bill was offered by Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK).
Although the bill has a long road ahead before it might become law, its support by top-ranking Senate Transportation Committee officials underscores a significant bipartisan movement to include commercial trucking into energy savings initiatives.
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