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President Obama is expected to announce it today

Medium and heavy-duty vehicles are on U.S President Barack Obama's agenda for discussion today in an effort to set new fuel standards
Obama today announced the tightened fuel standards for vehicles like semis, garbage trucks, buses and three-quarter-ton pickups at a distribution center for the grocery chain Safeway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Obama requested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) create new fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas proposals by March 2015 and final standards by March 31, 2016. 
The action follows the president's State of the Union Address last month, where he said he planned to set new fuel standards for trucks in order to cut costs at the pump and lessen our need for oil and imports. 
In 2011, the EPA and NHTSA finalized the first phase of fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, saying that they must lower reduce fuel consumption between 10 and 20 percent depending on design.

President Obama wants heavy duty vehicles to reduce their fuel consumption. [Source: Getty Images]

More specifically, big rigs and semi trucks were required to achieve a 20 percent reduction, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans were required to achieve a 15 percent reduction, and delivery trucks, buses and garbage trucks were required to achieve a 10 percent reduction. This affects 2014 to 2018 model years.
Trucks and buses built between these model years are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons. 
The 2011 rules are expected to save $50 billion in fuel costs, which is equivalent to 530 billion barrels of oil. 
However, auto manufacturers will have to pay up $8.1 billion to build the fuel-efficient vehicles.
In August 2012, the Obama administration also finalized fuel efficiency standards in cars and light trucks by the year 2025. By pushing for 54.5 mpg fuel efficiency, the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards aim to save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump, cut U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons over the course of the program, and encourage the adoption of autos like electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids.

Sources: USA Today, The White House

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RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By sgw2n5 on 2/19/2014 1:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
I do not disagree with any of that. Regardless of who will ultimately bear the cost (obviously the end user or consumer)... how is this at all a bad thing?

Better air due to less emissions, less reliance on foreign oil, investment into new engine/vehicle design and manufacturing processes leading to new jobs. Seems like a win all around to me.

As a consumer, I don't at all mind paying my part for any of those things.

our benevolent masters

How do I get one of those? Did I miss the sign up period or something?

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By wookie1 on 2/19/2014 2:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
Go ahead and pay your part, but the poor get hit the hardest as the cost of their daily needs goes up. I don't mind you paying whatever you want for these dubious benefits, but why should you get to decide for the rest of us? Creating jobs to complete a task with fewer benefits than it costs is not a win. How can you tell that the costs outweigh the benefits? A good indicator is that it requires a government mandate to do it. With a straight face they tell the industry that because they have now weighed in on it, the industry can save more money on fuel costs than it costs to upgrade to new technology for better mileage. Since fuel cost is by far the #1 operating cost, this is absurd on its face.

If you live in the US, we sign up for benevolent masters every 4 years.

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By Reflex on 2/19/2014 2:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
Index minimum wage to inflation/CPI and it costs the poor nothing since food and other costs are part of the inflation calculation.

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By JediJeb on 2/20/2014 3:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
Until the increased minimum wage costs that poor person their job because the company needs to shave costs to afford the higher wages.

Well I guess it would still not cost the poor any more, since they would just increase my taxes on top of the increased cost of goods so they can give the poor who lose their jobs more subsidies.

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By sgw2n5 on 2/20/2014 11:26:41 AM , Rating: 2
Umm... you're arguing that better air quality and less reliance on foreign oil are dubious benefits? Seriously?

How can you tell that the costs outweigh the benefits? A good indicator is that it requires a government mandate to do it.

Yes, the government mandating that drug companies are required to test for quality/safety of medications or requiring that the beef I buy at the supermarket isn't teeming with bacteria and parasites is definitely a bad thing. Spurious regulations.


RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By tastyratz on 2/23/2014 11:22:08 AM , Rating: 2
the ignorance of correlation here is striking in your post.

Do you not think that companies purchasing extremely expensive large commercial vehicles do not have fuel and operating costs as their number one targets as they push their purchase to a million plus miles?

You can't legislate innovation. This is a statistical bragging right. These large vehicles are already actually surprisingly efficient for the workload. Adding unnecessary cost to their target will hurt nobody but the consumer whether they can afford it or not.

And the mandates? They are requiring that manufacturers hit this target beginning THIS model year. How could anyone possibly change and meet their current production year vehicles? They can't... so it's a penalty tax for the government.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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