White House reviews truck efficiency rules

The White House Monday started its final review of a proposal to improve the efficiency of large trucks and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposal, which the Obama administration started writing last year, would be the second round of efficiency rules for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including trucks and buses.

Trucks account for 4 percent of vehicles on the road, but 20 percent of the transportation sector’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyEPA chief upgraded official car to one with bulletproof seat covers Watchdog requests probe into relationship between top EPA aide and man investigating him GOP senators push back on calls to investigate Pruitt MORE confirmed Monday that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received the standards and started its review.

“We’ve already done one heavy-duty rule, and that got, I think, the ball rolling,” McCarthy said Monday at an event hosted by Politico, referring to the first round of efficiency rules in 2011 for heavy vehicles.

She said the EPA wants the regulation to act like previous rules it has set for light-duty vehicles, and said officials are “looking to send a market signal for the kind of innovation and progression in technology that we’re looking for.”

McCarthy declined to provide details on the regulation. The OMB review is the final step before the proposed rule can be unveiled and the agency can invite the public to comment on it.

At the same event, Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxGeorgia Power says electricity at Atlanta airport will likely be restored by midnight Ex-Obama transportation chief on Atlanta airport power outage: 'Total and abject failure' To address America's crumbling infrastructure, follow Britain's lead MORE said the truck rule is “a pretty big deal.” The Transportation Department is working with the EPA on the rule.

McCarthy said the OMB is conducting an “expedited review” of the regulation, which was previously scheduled to be released in March.

“It’s going to be a terrific rule,” she said.

When fully implemented in 2018, the previous truck standards are expected to save 530 million barrels of oil and reduce carbon emissions by about 270 million metric tons.