Truckmakers who fail to meet the proposed standards could face fines and financial penalties, which could hurt truckers and raise the average price of commercial goods across the U.S.  (Source: Road Transport)

The Obama administration insists that more market regulation will actually save truckers money and combat pollution.  (Source: Info Wars)
The Obama administration believes that the trucking industry doesn't understand what's good for them

As the U.S. federal government races to combat the shadowy and indeterminate "global warming" threat, it is deploying stricter restrictions which may have a serious impact on both consumers and the business sector. 

Unsatisfied with merely mandating consumer vehicles obey fuel efficiency standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has now announced a proposal to regulate, for the first time, the greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency of heavy vehicles.

Heavy vehicles are defined as a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight at or above 8,500 pounds.  This includes some heavy-duty trucks, large vans, commercial trucks, and tankers.  The majority of consumer vehicles -- even beefy ones like the Hummer -- are well under 8,500 pounds.

The new restrictions, according to the current plan, would be broken down into vans/trucks whose emissions and fuel efficiency would be measured in gram per mile and gallon per 100-miles; and vocational vehicles/combination tractors (e.g. commercial trucks, tankers, tractors) whose emissions and fuel efficiency would be measured in gram per ton-mile and gallon per 1,000 ton-miles.

Combination tractors (commercial trucks) compared to their 2010 base emissions and fuel efficiency would be expected to "achieve up to a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel consumption by 2018 model year."  Vocational vehicles (e.g. buses, small commercial trucks, etc) would be expected to post a 10 percent emissions cut and 10 percent fuel efficiency gain by 2018.

Meanwhile, vans and heavy trucks would be largely brought in line with the currently regulated standards for lighter consumer vehicles, with a mandated 10 percent GHG/fuel usage reduction for gasoline vehicles and 15 percent reduction for diesel vehicles by 2018 model year (12 and 17 percent, respectively, when accounting for air conditioning leakage).

Don Anair, a senior analyst at The Union of Concerned Scientists Clean Vehicles Program says its about time these gas guzzlers be brought in line.  He states, "These trucks represent only 4 percent of vehicles on the road, but they consume 20 percent of the fuel."

Some advocates argue the new regulations aren't strict enough.

However, others point out that that there's numerous problems with this decision to heap more layers of regulation on the free market.  One problem is that the fines or other financial penalties needed to enforce these regulations could hurt the commercial trucking industry and other vital commercial vehicle contributors to the U.S economy.  Further, the new regulations fail to account for the efficiency of combination tractors' trailer, which can have a key impact on the truck's total fuel efficiency.

EPA regulators claim that the new standards are overall a good measure of the vehicles efficiency, though.  And they claim that by regulating the market they will actually save truckers and other heavy vehicle users money.  According to the EPA these users and the businesses who support them apparently by and large too incompetent to realize what's good for them on their own, so they need the government to provide them a friendly reminder.

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