White House reviews truck efficiency standards

White House reviews truck efficiency standards
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The White House has started to review a regulation setting new efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy trucks and buses.

The review process at the Office of Management and Budget, which usually takes up to 60 days but could take longer, is the last step before regulators can make the rule final and release it publicly. The office said late Monday that it started its review, which is meant to determine whether the rule complies with the law and the Obama administration’s priorities.

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The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation proposed the rule jointly last July. The final version is under wraps while the administration reviews it.

It would apply to newly built heavy-duty vehicles through 2027, expanding the previous rule standard that applies through 2018. That rule, made final in 2012, was the first-ever efficiency and greenhouse gas rule for big trucks.

As proposed, the new rule would cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 million metric tons under what they would normally be. Vehicles would be, on average, 24 percent more efficient and consume 1.8 billion barrels less of oil.

The American Trucking Associations is generally supportive of the effort, but it had problems with numerous aspects of the regulation that was proposed and was suspicious the agencies predicted costs of compliance were too low.

Environmental groups supported the rule as well but felt the EPA and Transportation Department could have been more aggressive and achieved more efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions than what was first envisioned.