The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a new proposal that would sharply cut gasoline and tailpipe emissions, a move that would essentially mandate California’s stricter air-quality laws in all 50 states.
But, according to a report by MSN, while the ruling would promote cleaner air, it would also cause the prices of gas and new cars to increase.
The EPA estimates that under the proposed rule, which calls for the reduction of sulfur in gasoline and stricter car-emission standards scheduled to start in 2017, gas prices would rise by less than a penny per gallon and tack $130 onto the cost of a new vehicle by 2025. The payoff for these changes, according to the EPA, is billions of dollars in reduced health costs by 2030.
But the oil industry, Republicans and even some Democrats are urging the EPA to delay the rule because of these higher costs, which would be passed on to consumers.
An American Petroleum Institute study estimated that lowering the sulfur in gasoline would add 6 to 9 cents per gallon to manufacturing costs for oil refineries. “I haven’t seen an EPA rule on fuels that has come out since 1995 that hasn’t said it would cost only a penny or two more,” Charles Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, told The Associated Press. Drevna added that the energy required for the additional refining under the new rule could actually increase carbon pollution by 1% to 2%.
By expanding a standard already in place in California and 13 other states, the new EPA rule would reduce sulfur in gasoline by more than 60% and nitrogen oxides by 80%. The regulation would also allow automakers to sell the same versions of a vehicle in all 50 states and make it easier for states to comply with federal standards for smog and soot.
Environmentalists say the proposal is potentially the most important of President Barack Obama’s second term. It also comes on the heels of the administration’s new CAFE rules, which will require automakers to meet a fleet average of 54.5 mpg by 2025 for passenger cars.
Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, estimated that the amount of pollution reduced by the rule would be equal to taking 33 million cars off the road. “We know of no other air-pollution control strategy that can achieve such substantial, cost-effective and immediate emission reductions,” he said.
For the first time, the federal government is regulating big-rigs, RVs and tractor-trailers in much the same way it’s held car makers to rigorous fuel efficiency standards for decades.
But, according to a FOX News report, a group of California truckers contends the regulations will drive them right out of business — and has filed suit to block them.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ordering large trucks and buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20% and overhaul engine design starting with models built in 2014. Most operators will need to spend thousands upgrading their rigs or buying new vehicles, with prices starting at $50,000 and going up from there, depending on the model.
Even so, the regulations have the support of the large and powerful American Trucking Association (ATA).
“We have never been inclined to be supportive of federal involvement and regulations in our industry,” said Bill Graves, president and CEO of the ATA. “But our experience in this case is one where we have to admit that the federal government did a really fine job of working collaboratively with all partners in this, to come up with what we think is a reasonable and fair rule.”
Smaller owner-operators like Sacramento trucker Robert McClernon argue the opposite.
“With the cost of the new equipment that they’re requiring, and the oversight of the government in every part of my business, I can’t afford to be in business,” he claimed.
McClernon is among a group of California trucking outfits challenging the Obama administration in federal court. The lawsuit claims the EPA failed to properly submit the regulations to a blue ribbon panel called the Science Advisory Board (SAB), as is required. The SAB is a group of top scientists who’ve been empowered by federal law to review new regulations that the EPA proposes to issue under the Clean Air Act.
Cummins Power Generation will conduct web seminars June 29 and July 15 concerning the EPA’s implementation of Phase III emission standards for gaseous engines that go into effect Jan. 1, 2011.
Phase III standards will impact the exhaust and evaporative emissions standards for all installed gasoline and LP generators. To assist OEMs who use generators in their vehicles, the one-hour seminars are intended to educate OEM engineers on how these new emissions will impact generator installation.
“Cummins Power Generation wants to assist OEMs to be fully prepared to minimize the impact come January,” said Ed Pickens, Cummins Power Generation marketing manager. “We’re particularly concerned that smaller OEMs who may not be familiar with similar California standards get the message and prepare for the changes. All customers need to be aware of the differences in the EPA vs. California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission rule implementation to prevent violations due to misunderstandings.”
The web seminars will be at 2 p.m. EDT June 29 and July 15. OEMs should register at http://now.cumminspower.com/content/CommercialMobileWebinar to participate.
Cummins Onan Generators is a brand of Cummins Power Generation, a subsidiary of Cummins Inc. , which manufactures, distributes and services engines, fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation. Headquartered in Columbus, Ind., Cummins serves customers in more than 160 countries through its network of 550 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 5,000 dealer locations. The Cummins Onan brand is found on generators and products manufactured for the RV, marine, commercial, residential and portable generator markets.
As the competition heats up in the diesel engine business with engine builders introducing revamped designs based on strict new EPA emissions regulations, Monaco RV LLC parent Navistar Inc., Warrenville, Ill., has announced a new long-term supply agreement for Navistar to be the principal provider of International-brand commercial trucks to J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. through 2014.
This is a development about which Oregon-based Monaco’s management team will surely be reminding prospective wholesale and retail clients in the months ahead, as it works to gain an edge in the resurgent motorhome business with coaches powered by Navistar’s MaxxForce engines equipped with “Advanced EGR” technology.
“We’re excited to once again be J.B. Hunt’s principal commercial truck provider and look forward to delivering to them International trucks with MaxxForce engines as well as the full support of our parts and dealer network,” said Jack Allen, president of Navistar’s North American truck group.
“J.B. Hunt is an industry leader and one of the most metric-driven transportation companies in the world,” Allen added. “They have tested our ProStar with MaxxForce 13 engine and this agreement demonstrates their confidence in the fuel economy, overall performance and no-hassle approach of our MaxxForce Advanced EGR engines.”
New light-duty vehicle standards announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) this month take into account comments submitted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Government Affairs department during the rule-making procedure, according to RVIA Express.
In comments submitted earlier this year, RVIA emphasized the importance of retaining towing capability for light-duty trucks. The new rules, which apply to the 2012-2016 model year passenger cars and light-duty vehicles (SUVs up to 10,000 pounds and smaller pickup trucks), take steps to preserve towing capacity while promoting improved fuel economy.
In recognition of the importance of towing, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not include engine downsizing in their feasibility assessment.
“Had they done so, the standards would have been more stringent,” said RVIA Vice President of Government Affairs Dianne Farrell. “EPA and NHTSA went against suggestions from environmental groups that they establish a single standard for the entire light-vehicle fleet instead of separate standards for cars and light trucks. The groups agreed with RVIA’s contention that light trucks deserve a less-stringent standard than cars because of towing and other features that affect fuel consumption and that are unique to light trucks.”
“RVIA is glad to see that the towing capability of light trucks has not been significantly impacted by the new standards,” she said.
For a detailed assessment of the new rules for light-duty trucks, contact RVIA’s Senior Director of Government Affairs Jay Landers at (703) 620-6003 ext. 354 or firstname.lastname@example.org.