Leaders of the American Trucking Associations, while supporting the goal of improved fuel efficiency of large trucks, pressed the Obama Administration to proceed cautiously with the setting of new standards.
"We stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the President and his administration in 2011 when the historic first fuel efficiency standards were set for heavy duty vehicles," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "As we begin this new round of standards, ATA hopes the administration will set forth a path that is both based on the best science and research available and economically achievable."
"Trucking is a very diverse industry," said ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, S.C. "and as such, whatever standards the administration sets should reflect that diversity and whatever tests are devised should accurately reflect what drivers face on the roads every day."
In 2008, ATA released a series of sustainability recommendations including a national speed limit of 65 miles per hour, increased participation in SmartWay for fuel efficiency, improving truck productivity and reductions in idling. In 2011, ATA supported the historic first round of fuel efficiency standards.
At its most recent Executive Committee meeting, ATA drafted a set of guiding principles for evaluating future emissions standards. Those principles included items like harmonization with existing California Air Resources Board rules, economic and scientific feasibility and a recognition of trucking’s diversity in the use of equipment.
"Fuel is one of our industry’s largest expenses, so it makes sense that as an industry we would support proposals to use less of it," Graves said. "However, we should make sure that new rules don’t conflict with safety or other environmental regulations, nor should they force specific types of technology onto the market before they are fully tested and ready."