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US truckers face new measures to cut greenhouse gases

By AFP

March 29, 2024 06:09 PM


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US regulators on Friday announced the finalization of new pollution standards for heavy-duty vehicles as part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

It comes a week after President Joe Biden's administration revised pollution standards for American cars in a bid to accelerate the US auto industry's shift to electric.

Heavy goods vehicles account for 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the US transport sector, which itself is the main source of emissions in the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The new rules announced on Friday by the EPA will apply to vehicles including freight trucks, school buses and waste haulers built between 2027 and 2032.

More than 13 million tanker trucks' worth of gasoline -- or around one billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions -- will be reduced through the measures over the next decade, the EPA said in a press release.

"(The) EPA is finalizing the strongest national greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty vehicles in history," said Michael Regan, the EPA chief.

Under the measures, vehicle manufacturers will have the flexibility to choose which set of emission control technologies they want to use, with options including hybrid and electric engines.

Regan added that heavy-duty vehicles are essential for "keeping our economy moving" but said "there are also significant contributors to pollution from the transportation sector, emissions that are fueling climate change and creating poor air quality in too many American communities."

The EPA said that around 72 million people in the United States live next to truck freight routes, and they are more likely to be people of color or from low-income households.

"Today's trucks rules will improve the air we breathe and curb the pollution that is driving climate change," said Paul Billings, a public policy director at the American Lung Association.

Last week, the Biden administration announced new standards for automakers, which will require a nearly 50 percent drop in fleet-wide emissions in 2032 compared with 2026 through increased sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and low-emission cars.

The rules dovetail with other Biden programs to incentivize EV sales and build more EV charging stations and manufacturing facilities.


AFP


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