Leaders of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) joined President Obama at the White House for his signing of a presidential memorandum that directs the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop national standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for heavy- and medium-duty trucks.
The President’s announcement effectively endorses the ATA Sustainability Task Force recommendation in 2008 that called for national fuel economy standards for trucks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
ATA Chairman Tommy Hodges and a number of executives of ATA-member engine and truck manufacturers, carriers, and other companies met with the President in the White House this morning before the signing ceremony and stood behind the President as he signed the memorandum. Chairman Hodges’ presence was especially well-suited because for three years he has chaired the ATA’s Sustainability Task Force.
Hodges, who is Chairman of a trucking company in Shelbyville, Tenn., called Titan Transfer Inc., pointed out that a national truck fuel economy standard was one of six recommendations that the Task Force advanced early in 2008 to reduce truck emissions of carbon dioxide. Also standing with the President were these representatives of ATA member companies: Daimler Trucks North America President and CEO Martin Daum; Waste Management Inc. Driver Anthony Dunkley; Volvo North American Trucks President and CEO Dennis Slagle; Cummins Inc. President and CEO Tim Solso; and Navistar International Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Daniel C. Ustian.
“I would like to thank the members of the Task Force, and the ATA Board of Directors, who created the Task Force in 2007,” Chairman Hodges said. “They had great foresight, and they have positioned ATA well to be at the front of the fuel economy issue. They have put ATA on the road to affecting a solution that is beneficial for the environment, the public, and for all of trucking.”
“President Obama told us this morning that this could be a model of industry and government cooperation in developing beneficial regulations,” Hodges said. “We set out in 2007 to have the trucking industry become leaders on this issue when the EPA would begin to regulate truck fuel economy. Today we reached one of our goals. ATA’s members and staff have given the industry an opportunity to have significant input on this issue.”
The President said that products and technologies available today could improve fuel economy by 25 percent and that the new regulations should be completed in 2011 and go into effect starting with model year 2014 equipment. “President Obama’s memorandum is an important first step toward improvements that will lower emissions and reduce fuel consumption,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “We look forward to working with DOT Secretary Ray LaHood and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to develop beneficial, attainable, affordable and cost-efficient standards.”
Chairman Hodges also met this morning with EPA Administrator Jackson. “She acknowledged that the trucking industry has made huge advances in reducing the emissions of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides from trucks,” Hodges said. “Unfortunately, some advances have come at the cost of a reduction in fuel economy and a slight increase in carbon dioxide output. Now we have the opportunity to fix that and substantially increase our fuel economy.”
In the release of its sustainability plan two years ago, ATA announced its support oftechnologically feasible national fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that reduce fuel consumption.Other components of the plan include:
- Federal laws requiring trucks to have speed governors set at 65 mph or below, and a national speed limit of 65 mph for all vehicles.
- Allowing more productive truck weights and combinations, which safely improve fuel economy.
- Expansion of the EPA SmartWay Transportation program, which works to reduce greenhouse gases and save fuel.
- Reducing idling by updating the interstate system and reducing traffic congestion.
- Using new technologies to reduce other engine idling.
The Task Force included executives from these ATA members: Air Products & Chemicals Inc.; Arkansas Best Corp.; Combined Transport Inc.; Con-way Inc.; Cummins Inc.; Detroit Diesel; Engine Manufacturers Association; FedEx Freight; Freightliner LLC; Grammer Industries Inc.; International Truck & Engine Corp.; Maverick Transportation LLC; Minnesota Trucking Association; O&S Trucking Inc.; Petroleum Transport Inc.; Schneider National Inc.; Swift Transportation Co. Inc.; Titan Transfer Inc.; UPS Freight; US Xpress Enterprises Inc.; Wabash National Corp.; Wal-Mart Transportation LLC; Waste Management Inc.; Watkins and Shepard Trucking; YRC Worldwide Inc.; and Volvo Trucks North America.
Many other ATA-member companies also contributed to the sustainability effort. Visit www.trucksdeliver.org to for more information about ATA’s sustainability plan.